Handbook for OFWs gets Senate nod

The proposed handbook would be a convenient reference that would inform OFWs about their rights and responsibilities

A measure that will help mitigate the problem of human trafficking by making Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) aware of their rights and responsibilities moves one step closer to reality!

Last February 5, the Senate has approved on third and final reading a bill which would mandate the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to publish and disseminate a standard handbook on the rights and responsibilities of Filipino migrant workers.

Senate Bill No. 192 or the "Handbook for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) Act" principally authored by Senator Manny Pacquiao was passed with 18 affirmative votes, zero negative votes and zero abstention.

The measure seeks to provide migrant workers with a handbook that contains pertinent information, which can help them address their problems and concerns. The handbook aims to serve as their ready reference if and when they need to assert their rights as overseas employees. It will be written in simple language with translation in native dialects that the OFWs can readily understand. The book should be issued to all Filipino migrant workers free of charge.

Senate Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resources Development Chair Senator Joel Villanueva, Senate President Koko Pimentel III and Senator Richard Gordon also served as co-authors of the measure. The bill has no counterpart bill in the House of Representatives.

According to the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, there are currently about 10 million OFWs deployed across the globe