SAGIP Party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta recently learned first-hand just how handsomely Filipino construction workers in Guam are getting paid.
Marcoleta took part in a fact-finding mission in the United States (US) territory that lasted from Dec. 11 to 15. The mission was led by House Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs Chairman Kabayan Rep. Ron Salo.
In a Facebook post after the mission, Marcoleta's team bared some of the solons' activities during their five-day stay in Guam.
"Rep. Marcoleta and the fact-finding team also met with the members of the Guam Contractors' Association and their Filipino workers and were able to validate the good living conditions the Filipino workers," the post read.
"The team also learned that the average rate of the workers ranges from $15 to $25 per hour. On a 40-hour per week job, a worker earns an average of $500 per week, excluding overtime," it added. $500 is equal to roughly P27,500.
One purpose of the mission was to find out how Philippine legislators can help facilitate the employment of more Filipinos in Guam, since it needs more skilled construction workers.
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"Guam prefers to employ more than 10,000 Filipino skilled workers in its military facilities in the next years with a budget of over $8 billion," the same post read.
"The problem lies in the tedious and too slow processing of working visas (H-2Bs) by the former POLO office in Los Angeles. Guam hopes that a special migrant officer to be stationed in the island could facilitate the deployment procedures, aside from the need to harmonize the labor laws between Guam and the Philippines," it further read.
POLO stands for Philippine Overseas Labor Office.
The same Facebook post showed Marcoleta touching base with the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) there.