Baldoz to regional directors: Provide 'seamless' assistance to OFW repatriates

Date Posted: August 6th, 2014 06:44 AM


As repatriates from Libya reach 776 Baldoz to regional directors: Provide 'seamless' assistance to OFW repatriates Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday issued an order to all DOLE regional directors in 16 regions to provide overseas Filipino workers arriving from countries experiencing crises or emergencies, such as Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kenya with "seamless" assistance from the time of their repatriation to the time of their arrival to ensure their smooth return and reintegration with their families, local communities, and the national body politic. "This 'seamless' assistance is already laid down under the Assist WELL Program under D.O. 139 Series of 2014 which I have issued on 21 July. There is no reason for us to get an OFW complaint of not being assisted in their coming home to the Philippines," said Baldoz in a memo reiterating the focused and comprehensive reintegration services under the Assist WELL Program, a component of the National Reintegration Program for OFWs. Baldoz's order followed the arrival of 52 OFWs at 7:00 A.M. yesterday on board flight EK 336, bringing the total number of Libya repatriates to 776 since the arrival of the first batch of repatriates on 11 June 2014. Another batch of 110 OFWs was scheduled to arrive last night. Relative to this, Baldoz assured the OFW repatriates and their families that the DOLE and its offices and attached agencies are ably assisting the arriving OFWs and providing them repatriation and reintegration services. "The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, OWWA, National Reintegration Center for OFWs, Bureau of Local Employment, Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns, TESDA, International Labor Affairs Bureau, Labor Communications Office, and all DOLE Regional Offices are working together to provide assistance to the OFW repatriates," she said. Under the Assist WELL Program, OFWs repatriated due to conflict and other emergencies are offered the following: · Welfare Assistance, which covers airport assistance, temporary shelter accommodation, transport assistance to residence, emergency medical assistance, and stress debriefing · Employment Assistance, which facilitates job placement/referral for local and overseas employment, and competency assessment and certification for repatriated workers. · Livelihood Assistance, which includes entrepreneurial development training, livelihood skills training, hands-on business mentoring and support, and business loan assistance. · Legal Assistance which includes the provision of legal advice, conciliation proceedings, assistance in complaint preparation for illegal recruitment and other recruitment violations and disciplinary action cases, counseling during preliminary investigations and hearings of criminal cases for illegal recruitment. Baldoz once again urged OFWs in Libya to avail of the mandatory repatriation assistance of the government, even as she emphasized that the DOLE continues to closely monitor and coordinate with the representatives from DFA on the immediate and safe repatriation of more OFWs. She, likewise, urged families of OFWs in Libya to convince their loved ones to come home. END/ Stella P. Bañares

Created Aug 26th 2014, 14:41


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