Less paperwork for OFWs expected with e-CARD


OVERSEAS FILIPINO Workers (OFWs) are now expected to get easier access to benefits provided by the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) through the newly-launched OFW e-CARD.
“Through this OFW e-CARD, member-OFWs will have an easier access to our programs and services, as it allows instant verification of OWWA membership and reduces documentary requirements,” Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac of the Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA), an attached agency of DoLE, said at yesterday’s launch.
Section 13 of Republic Act 10801, The OWWA Act, mandates the distribution of the e-CARD.
Among the programs offered by OWWA are skills training, social welfare services, educational scholarships, and financial assistance.
Application for the e-CARD can be accessed online through the OWWA Website, owwa.gov.ph.
The card can be claimed by the OFW upon returning to country, or through an authorized representative.
OWWA has also put up special desks at all their regional and overseas offices for assistance on e-CARD processing.
Around 250,000 cards will be distributed under the project’s 1st phase.
DoLE Secretary and OWWA Board of Trustees Chair Silvestre H. Bello III said they are already preparing for the project’s next phase of implementation.
“We will soon be working on its next phase as we envision this OFW e-CARD as a means of bringing other government services closer to our OFWs,” said Mr. Bello.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) also expressed full support to the project, which it said is very timely given the Philippines’ role in the the United Nations’ (UN) Global Compact for Migration, which will be launched soon.
“The launching of this program is very timely in line (with) the commitments of the Philippines to the global community on migration governance policy,” DFA Undersecretary Ernesto C. Abella said. — Gillian M. Cortez

Police assures anti-drug operations in schools will be by the book

THE PHILIPPINE National Police has assured students and parents that there will be no violation of human rights in the implementation of the anti-illegal drug operations in schools.
“We will not come in as if to conduct (a) buy-bust. No, we will not do that. We will surely coordinate with the faculty, administrator, or sa security of the different schools,” PNP Director General Oscar D. Albayalde, speaking in mixed English and Filipino, said in a press conference on Monday, Nov. 5.
The Commission on Higher Education has recently released a memorandum order allowing law enforcement agencies to conduct anti-illegal drug operations in higher education institutions, provided they coordinate with school officials.
“The local government units, the Philippine National Police or any authorized law enforcement agency may carry out any legitimate drug-related operation within the school premises, provided that the same will be coordinated with the concerned HEIs prior to the conduct thereof,” the memorandum order stated.
Mr. Albayalde added, “We will follow the rule of law dito. We want to assure the public that human rights is deeply embedded in the system of the Philippine National Police.”
The Duterte administration’s campaign against illegal drugs has been criticized by local and international groups for alleged widespread human rights violations. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras