By Christina Hermoso
The Catholic Church has intensified its assistance program for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families, particularly their children.
Balanga (Bataan) Bishop Ruperto C. Santos, chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People said, the Church’s archdioceses and dioceses in different parts of the country have programs that assist beleaguered OFWs and their families.
“Our diocesan migrant ministries have scholarship programs for the children of our OFWs especially those whose parent was victimized by abuse or was repatriated,” Santos said over Church-run Radio Veritas.
The bishop said, the CBCP-ECMI is closely monitoring the situation of Filipino workers abroad particularly beleaguered OFWs including the more than 1,000 workers who lost their job in Al Khobar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Filipino seamen in Nigeria who had been released, and the 22 truck drivers who were working under unacceptable conditions in Denmark among other cases.
“We are in constant communication with the families of our OFWs. We provide counseling, scholarships, livelihood programs, and assistance for them to avail of seed money from cooperatives for their livelihood,” Santos said.
The Philippine Statistics Authority said more than 10 million Filipinos are working in different parts of the world, with a big percentage suffering from abuses and deplorable working conditions.