Tolentino wants DFA to prevent the confiscation of OFW passports

Tolentino wants DFA to prevent the confiscation of OFW passports

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Senator Francis “Tol” Tolentino wants the Department of Foreign
Affairs (DFA) and other concerned agencies to protect the rights of
Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to hold on to their passports while
working abroad.

Tolentino made this suggestion to the Senate Committee on Foreign
Relations, chaired by Senator Koko Pimentel, in relation to proposals
to amend the Philippine Passport Act.

“We can make it explicit in our passports that it would be illegal for
foreign employers to confiscate passports of Filipino workers” said
Tolentino.

“Puwede nating idagdag, while valid this passport must not be
confiscated by private employers and must be surrendered upon demand
by an authorized representative of the Philippine government,” he
added.

Through this, Tolentino said foreign employers will be aware that
confiscating the passports of Filipino workers is illegal.

The Senator said the DFA, through bilateral exchanges and communiqués
with counterparts, can relay this prohibition so it can also be
implemented in other countries.

The DFA, through Office of Consular Affairs Executive Director Maria
Alnee Gamble, said it can implement Tolentino’s suggestion. (ai/mtvn)

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