MANILA – As the country celebrates the Month of the Overseas Filipinos, Vice President Jejomar Binay has welcomed a move to increase the legal assistance fund for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Php30 million to Php100 million.
”Our Global Filipinos deserve no less than the full support and protection of the government, given all their contributions to our nation,” Binay said.
It was Binay’s daughter, Sen. Nancy Binay, who initiated to double the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) legal assistance budget for OFWs but Sen. Cynthia Villar increased it further to Php100 million in the recent Senate plenary debates on the proposed Php2.606-trillion national budget for next year.
The bicameral conference committee of Congress is still reconciling the disagreeing provisions of the 2015 national budget.
Binay said 10 percent of the country’s 100 million population are currently abroad.
”Their hands have helped shape all the nations that host them, and the same time, their remittances have helped sustain our economic growth,” he said.
”This diaspora is real and many of us are rightly concerned for the lives of our countrymen abroad. While the government remains committed to its pledge to make overseas employment a matter of choice rather than necessity, we are obligated to ensure that whoever desires to work abroad enjoys adequate protection and responsive service from the concerned agencies and offices of the government,” he added.
The Vice President is the presidential adviser on OFWs’ Concerns.