House files resolution protecting OFW rights and welfare

A country in the Middle East serves as the top destination for Filipino migrant workers, an international report revealed on Friday.

According to the Asia-Pacific Migration Report for 2020, there are at least 433, 600 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Saudi Arabia, placing the country as the top destination for Filipinos seeking opportunities abroad. 

The report placed the Philippines as among the 10 global remittance receivers, with a total remittance of $35 billion in 2019. India and China were the world’s largest remittance recipients, receiving over $83 billion and $68 billion in 2019, respectively, the report noted.

The report also noted that remittance flows to Asia and the Pacific rose from $183 billion in 2009 to $330 billion in 2019, which is slightly less than half the global total of $717 billion in 2019. 

Meanwhile, a resolution expressing full support for Filipino migrants all over the world and commending the efforts of the government to protect their rights and welfare has been filed in the House of Representatives.

The resolution was filed in time for the commemoration of International Migrants Day on Dec. 18. 

The resolution noted that there are currently around 10.5 million Filipinos living in over 150 countries and territories.

“The Philippines stands by its conviction to support, protect, and uphold the dignity of every Filipino worker abroad, and as President Rodrigo Duterte stated, ‘never to be slaves” but rather be respected and even recognized for their contribution to their host nations,” the resolution said.

The resolution said the country has shown its firm commitment to the protection of its migrants by being one of the 152 countries that adopted the United Nations Global Compact for Migration, an international framework that will manage migration and provide decent treatment for millions of migrants worldwide.

The resolution also commended the signing of a memorandum of agreement between the Philippines and Kuwait on the employment of Household Service Workers, “which ensured prompt and effective assistance to 250,000 Filipinos in Kuwait.”

The resolution also enumerated the actions congressmen had taken to benefit migrant workers, including the passage on third and final Reading of House Bill No. 5832 this year, creating the Department of Filipinos Overseas which will focus on the promotion of welfare of OFWs.

Deliberation on the Senate counterpart bill had been deferred to next year, but the President certified it as urgent in mid-December. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza