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Credit assistance for Filipino workers sought
In House Bill 3802, Rep. Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro City said it is the declared policy of the State to ensure the welfare of returning overseas workers affected by the current global financial crisis by providing them access to credit facilities.
He said a recession in the United States, Europe and Japan would cause many OFWs to lose their jobs. Besides Singapore, France, Ireland and New Zealand are now officially in recession.
"The Philippines is vulnerable to the present crisis because of its overseas workers. There are around 8 million Filipinos overseas or nearly one-tenth of the Philippine population. The government should be ready for the influx of jobless OFWs from the crisis-ridden countries," Rodriguez said.
Of the 91,411 domestic helpers working abroad, 98 percent or nearly 90,000 are female.
Rodriguez said domestic helpers are deployed in Hong Kong (19,532), Kuwait (19,097), Saudi Arabia (11,898), United Arab Emirates (11,844), Lebanon (7,710), Qatar (6,524), Jordan (4,359), Singapore (3,162), Oman (2,068), Cyprus (1,178) and Bahrain (1,343).
In 2007, the Philippines deployed a total of 49,431 workers to Singapore and around 2,220,000 OFWS in 2012 many of whom went to the Middle East, including Lebanon and Jordan, and in Asia.
Rodriguez underscored that another problem of OFW deportation is the large number of migrant workers without proper documents in Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea.