News Release

PBBM: OFWs’ welfare remains our top priority

Ethical recruitment, fair employment, and the safe and orderly migration of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) remain to be among the top priorities of the government, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said on Monday.

In his State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. assured these aspects are outlined in the government’s agreements with other countries, which continue to welcome Filipino workers in their labor force.

“We are engaging with our partners in the international community to ensure a safe working environment for our countrymen. As we do so, we are also putting in place responsive mechanisms for the social welfare, repatriation, and reintegration of our returning OFWs into the Philippine economy,” he said.

According to the chief executive, several countries have signified interest to explore bilateral labor cooperation with the Philippines in the areas of healthcare, tourism, hospitality, engineering, construction, and information technology. Among these signed agreements are with Singapore, Austria, and the province of Alberta in Canada.

He cited the resumption of OFW deployment to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a testament to the government’s commitment to ensuring the welfare of the migrant workers, providing work to around 70,000 Filipinos. He also reiterated the assurance from KSA to process the unpaid salaries and other related claims of some 14,000 OFWs, who have been put out of work in Saudi Arabia during the pandemic.

He likewise assured the continued employment of some 50,000 workers and the deployment of many more Filipino seafarers aboard EU vessels.

“The lesson for us all is that our education and skills must always be attuned to the high, exacting and constantly evolving global standards,” he said.

With the reopening of global economies post pandemic, the country has recorded an increase of migrant workers deployed abroad in 2022. They have contributed 32.5 billion dollars, or roughly 1.8 trillion pesos, to the Philippine economy, President Marcos said. PND