July 25, 2024

The municipal governments here signed a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) in the Cordillera for the establishment of help desks in towns catering to the needs of overseas Filipino workers.

“The local governments are where overseas workers and relatives of overseas workers seek help when they are in distress. They are closer to the people due to their proximity and we recognize that,” Luzviminda Dimaliuan, regional director of the DMW, previously the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, said during a signing program at the “Kadiwa ng Pangulo” agro-industrial fair held at the Payanan Sports Complex.

The Public Employment Services Office, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, and the local chief executive are constant providers of information on the welfare of the OFWs that are relayed to the DMW.

She said the OFW help desks would provide better communication leading to a smooth working relationship to aid the migrant workers, especially those who are in distress.

Mayors and representatives of the seven municipalities – Luna, Sta. Marcela, Conner, Pudtol, Flora, Kabugao, and Calanasan signed the MOA.

Dimaliuan cited as an example of coordination the partnership forged between the local government units and their agency in repatriating the remains of an OFW who passed away in Dubai.

“We provided the embalming, the casket, and the transport overseas to the Philippines and the local governments helped bring the remains back to the home of the OFW,” she said.

The partnership will not just be important to bring home the remains of an OFW, but also the physically ill, the problematic, and in distress OFW and even the assistance to the families in the country, she added.

She said with the OWWA being removed as an attached unit of the Department of Labor and Employment, there is a need to renew partnerships for the provision of services and programs to OFWs and their families.

The MOA signing in Apayao came after similar signings in Baguio City, Benguet, and the Mountain Province. – PNA