February 1, 2017
Cayetano reiterates call for abolition of policies that burden OFWs
Senator Alan Peter Cayetano reiterated his call anew for the abolition of policies that unnecessarily burden the country's Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
He specifically cited the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) and the collection of terminal fees, the same policies that some 200 OFWs in Hong Kong raised when they picketed outside the office of the Philippine Consulate General over the weekend.
The protesters echoed the same sentiment that Cayetano shared in a live Facebook video after attending the first Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) meeting last Monday.
The protest staged by the United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK) complained that the procedure introduced by the Department of Labor and Employment for securing the OEC in order to earn a refund of the terminal fee led to a "chaotic system that caused missed flights, long queues, fixers, and unnecessary expenses."
Cayetano said the continued inclusion of the terminal fee in airline tickets purchased by OFWs violates the spirit of the law that exempts the latter from its coverage, and the exemption process only compounded the situation for the OFWs.
"By law, migrant workers are exempted from paying the terminal fee. But since it is included in the ticket prices, they still have to line up to get refunds, which at times even causes missed flights," Cayetano lamented.
"Let's spare our modern-day heroes from these inconveniences. We need to ease their burdens by abolishing these unwarranted government policies and replacing them with seamless, convenient, and hassle-free systems. Let's make our OFWs feel like VIPs," Cayetano stressed.
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