Villanueva urges DOLE to lay down reintegration plans for OFWs

Senator Joel Villanueva has asked the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to lay down its plans for the reintegration of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in domestic labor amid the global economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.


"While the repatriation of our OFWs continues, reintegration strategies should be simultaneously implemented so they have alternative means of livelihood,” Villanueva said.

He recalled that an additional P5 billion budget was given to the DOLE and the Overseas Workers' Welfare Administration to ensure that repatriation efforts and assistance are uninterrupted.

The government's reintegration programs for displaced OFWs and the prospects of their deployment will be discussed in a hearing by the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resources Development on Tuesday, August 25.

Villanueva said he also plans to ask the Interagency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), the Department of Health, and the DOLE on their plans to help OFWs who were affected by the imposition of deployment bans, especially the overseas Filipino healthcare workers.

He earlier called for the establishment of a referral mechanism so that affected healthcare workers are properly referred to the ongoing recruitment of additional health human resources by the DOH.

Aside from OFW reintegration plans, the labor committee chair will also tackle issues hounding the seafarers’ sector, particularly the possibility of a two-year deployment drought brought about by movement restrictions.