From P400M to P1 Billion: Duterte Increases Budget Allocation for OFWs

Citing their heroism and their sacrifices along with their families left behind, President Rodrigo Duterte has allocated P1 billion fund to protect the rights and improve welfare services to overseas Filipino workers during his State of the Nation Address before a joint session at of Congress at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City last Monday.

“They are our heroes. They and their families have sacrificed much to the – for the country. We all know how a large part of our economic – economy comes from their remittances,” Duterte said in his remarks.

“That is why to ensure that their rights are protected, I ordered the increase of our assistance to the OFW from P400 million to more than P1 billion,” he added.

The President has assured Filipinos abroad that the government under his administration is “hard at work” in protecting labor rights and providing welfare assistance. Among them are the establishment of 17 one-stop service centers to cater to the needs of OFWs, and the OFW ID which effectively abolishes the overseas employment certificate requirement for departing Filipino workers. The Duterte administration also promised to set up a bank exclusively for OFWs and their families.

Filipino workers based abroad has sent $2.31 billion in money remittances in May 2017. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas projects OFWs will send cash remittances worth $27.7 billion for the entire year 2017.