OFWs deserve better protection — Bp. Ruperto Santos

2017-05-19 Vatican Radio

The overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) deserve to get the support and protection they deserve for their sacrifices and for their contributions to the Philippine economy, said Bishop Ruperto Santos.  

Bishop Ruperto Santos, chairman of the Church’s Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People, said the OFWs are not just “modern day heroes” but “our blessings. To show our gratitude to them is to protect them and to promote their rights and dignity.

“To value their labors is to take care of remittances that this remittances will not be stolen, corrupted and misused for non essential or non existent government projects,” he said.

Cash remittances from OFWs reached their highest monthly level in March with $7.71 billion, up by 8.1% compared to the same period last year.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas attributed the increase in remittances to the strong demand for skilled Filipino workers abroad.

Bishop Santos said this manifests that the OFWs sustain and support the country. “They are the best, our outstanding Filipinos in the world,” he added. “With their sacrifices they uplift our economy and build up our image as honest, hardworking and trustworthy Filipinos,” he said.

On the first day of Pope Francis’ State visit to the Philippines in 2015, he called on the Philippine government to fulfill its pledges to put an end to corruption and likewise observed the “scandalous social inequalities” in the country.

According to the ASEAN Trade Union Council, the Philippines has the highest rate of economic and social inequality in Southeast Asia. Inequality in the Philippines portrays inequitable distribution of economic opportunities and is not limited to personal wealth. Land distribution, educational and vocational opportunities and basic welfare programs are also affected by the growing disparity between the Philippines' richest and poorest citizens.

The glaring unequal opportunities in the country push millions of Filipinos to go abroad. High unemployment rate, low wages and deepening poverty fuel the desire to leave despite known and unknown dangers. (CBCP)

(from Vatican Radio)