A lawmaker seeks to amend the Overseas Filipino Workers Center Ordinance to cater to left-behind families in the city.
Councilor Bai Hundra Cassandra N. Advincula said they had a dialogue with Integrated Gender and Development Division, headed by Lorna Mandin, on Oct. 10. During their discussion, the issue of creating a center to cater to the needs of the families of OFWs.
The center will provide welfare assistance, counseling services, legal assistance, financial literacy, and livelihood training, among others.
“The struggles and the challenges of their left-behind households usually take the sidelines,” she said.
She said families of the overseas workers are not qualified to receive the standard intervention programs from the Department of Social Welfare and Development and City Social Services and Development as they are not considered indigents.
“We are actually amending the existing OFW ordinance that was approved by the 15th Council so that we can’t replicate the functions and services that the national agencies already created,” she said.
A committee hearing with the national agencies was also conducted on Wednesday to coordinate the services. “We don’t want to overlap. More or less, we are the coordinating body of the national agencies,” she said.
These left-behind families may be vulnerable to incestuous rape as they are entrusted to relatives. Some children are also tend to engage in delinquent behavior, skip classes, and rebel against authority.
“They also need psychosocial assistance, maybe a psychiatrist or a social worker to talk to, as the stress and struggle of being left-behind by their loved one may consume them,” she said.
Mayor Sara Duterte also mentioned during her State of the City Address that the center is a priority project for 2020.