MANILA—Migrant workers of ASEAN member states, including those of the Philippines, stand to benefit once the instrument on the protection and promotion of their rights is approved, a social welfare official has said.
“Among the ASEAN member countries, we are one of the countries with a lot of migrant workers who would need protection… So, once this (instrument) is approved, we can hold on to receiving ASEAN countries that our Filipino migrant workers will be given due protection,” Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Undersecretary Florita Villar said in an interview.
The DSWD, as chair the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Pillar this year, is pushing for the protection of migrant workers to be one of the ASEAN’s outcome documents as a gift to the region’s migrant workers.
Villar said the instrument covers both documented and undocumented migrant workers.
It was the Philippines, as chair of 12th ASEAN Summit in Cebu City 10 years ago, that pushed for the adoption of the Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers. The declaration lays down the basic principles for safeguarding migrant workers and the obligations of both labor-receiving and sending ASEAN countries.
Meanwhile, the DSWD official assured that they are serious in promoting a people-oriented and people-centered ASEAN.
The Philippines is hosting this year’s ASEAN forum as the regional grouping celebrates its 50th founding anniversary.