OWWA needs 500 additional personnel for overseas offices


Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Deputy Administrator Arnell Ignacio admitted on the talk show Get It Straight with Daniel Razon, that the agency is undermanned.

He said currently, they only have 120 people deployed outside the country and they need 500 more personnel.

Ignacio admitted that there had been times when they had to borrow personnel from other agencies.

Since they are understaffed, the quality of service given to OFWs suffers.

The deputy administrator said that in Riyadh, an OWWA employee has to review contracts that can reach up to 900 a day; increasing the risk of making errors due to fatigue.

He asked OFWs to understand their situation and assured that they are doing all they can to address these problems.

Ignacio also has a reminder to Filipino migrant workers.

“Kapag ang iyong papeles o qualification ay kulang at sasabihin sayo ng sinomang kausap mo dyan na ‘Aayusin natin o kami na ang bahala’, tumanggi ka na. Nagsimula ka ng mali tapos aasahan mo na magiging tama along the way? Common sense, mas malamang mamalasin ka,” said the deputy administrator.

(If your documents or qualifications are insufficient and your contact says, ‘We’ll take care of it’, refuse it them right away. You begin your application the wrong way and you expect it to correct itself along the way? It’s common sense: you are more likely get in trouble.)

Among the problems encountered by OFWs is the possession of fake documents given by illegal recruiters; not being able to go home due to lack of exit visas; and being victimized by abusive employers.

Ignacio also created a Facebook page where OFWs can easily reach them and report their problems.

They just need to search for DA Arnell Ignacio OFW to speak directly to OWWA personnel.

“This is their mode of communication. Bakit ka mag-iimbento ng bago kung sila ay magaling sa plataporma na ‘to? Kaya nga, ngayon kapag nagpapadala sila dyan, ang bilis-bilis,” said Ignacio.

(This is their mode of communication. Why do we have to invent a new one if they are already adept with this platform? So this time, when they send their concerns, response is very quick.)

Meanwhile, OWWA will give 5,000 financial assistance to active OWWA members and 2,500 for inactive members who are affected by the deployment ban.

It is expected that the ban will be lifted soon. — Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue

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