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Marcos to cut red tape in processing OFW papers, pledges protection

25 July 2022


President Ferdinand Marcos Jr delivers his first State of the Nation address.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. laid out plans today to make it easier for overseas Filipino workers to process their papers, faster for foreign employers to hire them, and for them to be brought home quickly if abused or fall into dangerous situations.

In his first State of the Nation address (SONA) before the joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives at the Batasang Pambansa, Marcos said OFWs deserve these and other measures because of their sacrifices for the country.

 “You OFWs represent the fighting faith of the Filipinos as a nation and as a people,” he said. “Let us transform your overseas journey into inspirational stories for all time.”


His mention of OFWs indicates overseas employment will remain a government priority to earn foreign exchange for the economy, a strategy that his father started in the 70s.

In fact, he added, his government has initiated talks with Saudi Arabia for it to reopen to Filipino workers.

“Kaya natin at gagawin natin ang makipagnegosasyon na mabigyan ang ating mga kababayan doon ng tamang pasahod at mapangalagaan ang kanilang karapatan at kapakanan,” he said.

He said Deparment of Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople will go to Saudi Arabia to ensure  adequate staffing to handle the influx of workers there and push the campaign against human trafficking.

Marcos also said all other diplomatic posts will help in finding more work for OFWs, and bringing back those who lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

In the Philippines, he said the government will cut red tape in the processing of OFW papers so that the three months it took for foreign employers to get their Filipino workers would be shortened to three weeks.

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“We shall automate the verification of contracts and issue secure overseas employment certification (OEC) that you can keep on your smart phone,” he said, adding that the OFW handbook would be simplified and turned into a pamphlet.

“Mahirap na nga ang buhay kaya naman ayaw na po nating makitang lalo pang nahihirapan ang ating mga manggagawang mandarayuhan sa pagtupad sa kanilang mga pangarap,” he said.

Marcos announced the launch of the One Repatriation Command Center (ORCC) which can be reached through the social media platform ng Department of Migrant Workers and a hotline to give immediate aid to OFWs who are abused and those who find themselves in war zones and other dangerous situations.


“Noon, nangungutang pa ang isang ina ng bawa’t OFW upang sumakay ng barko para pumunta sa Maynila at mangatok sa iba’t ibang ahensiya para mapauwi ang anak na inaapi,” he said. “Ngayon, kami na ang tatawag sa mga magulang ng OFW para sabihin sa kanila ang petsa kung kailan nila mayayakap ang at makakapiling ang kanilang mga anak.”

Marcos also thanked former President Rodrigo Duterte, who signed the law that created the DMW, “this new home for our OFWs.”

In a statement responding to the Marcos speech, Dolores Balladares Pelaez, chairpersn of Unifil-Migrante Hong Kong, said: “Bongbong Marcos is out of touch with the reality of overseas Filipinos. Hindi ang intensipikasyon ng labour export program ang sagot sa problema ng OFWs. Ang kailangan namin ay trabaho sa ‘Pinas, maayos na serbisyo, proteksyon sa trabaho at agarang pagtigil sa patong-patong na pwersahang bayarin.”


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