Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III called on all sectors to work together for the productive reintegration of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
In a message to the summit on OFW reintegration at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, last August 30, Secretary Bello said the government has set the impetus to reverse the decades old labor export policy and instead utilize Filipino talent and expertise to move the Philippine economy forward.
He urged business to “open your windows for partnership with OFW groups” and asked families of OFWs to prepare for their reunification.
“I call on the local governments to make each province, city and municipality a haven to go back to,” said the labor secretary, adding services of agencies must “nurture an environment conducive to OFW return.”
The summit, which is the culminating activity of the Enhancing Reintegration Programme for OFWs (ERPO), will draw up a national master plan for the absorption of returning migrant workers into the local economy. It is spearheaded by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO), and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
“The task seems disconcerting because of the huge number of our returning OFWs… We need to keep the house in order,” Secretary Bello said.
He added there has to be sufficient jobs and businesses available, and infrastructure and peace and order.
“This is everyone’s business,” Secretary Bello said.
He added that with continued economic growth, improved domestic wages will encourage OFWs to return to the country. He noted though the increasing number of returnees are due to crises, disasters and wars overseas.