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Local NGO, CSWDO intensify program for indigent OFWs

THE MINDANAO Migrants Center for Empowering Actions, Inc. (MMCEAI) intensifies its collaborative program with the City Social Welfare and Development Office’s (CSWDO) pre-migration orientation seminar (PMOS) to help families and OFW prepare for the reality of working abroad. 

During the Kapihan forum on March 22, Inorisa Elento, MMCEAI executive director, said the PMOS is a significant program as they saw the need to address the exploitation and discrimination among women OFWs, particularly among the indigenous people (IP).

“This seminar is important not just for OFWs but to the families who are left at home, they will also be educated. This will give them enough awareness that there are a lot of things to consider when working outside the country,” Elento said. 

PMOS came up for the reason that OFW family members were not covered by the pre-employment or pre-departure orientations for OFWs, also known as (PDOS). 

Mercy Embac, a former OFW and a Marilog IP went to work in Saudi Arabia without enough education and awareness about the possible risks of working abroad. 

“Wala ko sweldohi og tarong tungod kay bawal daw ang dagha’g kwarta sa eroplano ingon sa akong amo, hantod karon wala gyud nako nakuha (I wasn’t paid my full salary because they said it’s not allowed to bring too much money in the airplane. Until now, I did not receive it),” Embac said. 

Embac said she faced a few discriminations as an IP-OFW, and shared she had known a few people from Marilog that had also encountered the same treatment. 

Lorna Mandin, the Integrated Gender and Development Division (under CSWDO) chief, said OFW children left behind should have enough supervision and monitoring as they will also face risks inside their households.

“Today, most women or mothers are working abroad. We should also consider asking where the kids are left. The question here is who will be responsible for their parental care and supervision,” Mandin said. 

Mandin emphasized the need for agencies in the community to expand their capacity to offer business opportunities targeting returning OFWs. 

“Anticipating that PMOS will generate lots of people who will decide to just stay here instead of working abroad, maybe it’s high time for the city to expand their economic and entrepreneurial opportunities for these people,” she said.


Screengrab from PIA XI 


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