OFWs face opportunities, threats abroad

Published by rudy Date posted on April 18, 2011

CEBU, Philippines – Overseas Filipino workers abroad are facing not only opportunities but also threats, a labor diplomat said.

Philippine Labor Attache to Taiwan, lawyer Josephus Jimenez said there are several opportunities waiting for OFWs abroad which can really help them earn a living. However, he added an OFW should not just be an employee but should also be an employer in his own right.

He said Filipinos should not be contented of being workers forever in their life but they should also find other ways to earn more. They can venture into business and improve their income, he added.

While OFWs have helped upgrade the status of their families and the economy of the country, Jimenez said the downside is, relationships in the family could become unstable because one of the family members is not present. This could lead to broken family relationships.

Jimenez, who spoke during a forum on labor held at SM City-Cebu recently, said threats are awaiting OFWs if they are not guided and if they are not knowledgeable enough of the processes, the nature of their work and the country that they will go to.

These threats, he said, can be called, D5 which stands for dirty, dangerous, difficult, degrading and deceptive jobs that are real dilemma to consider especially for over 10 million OFWs in 200 countries who are sometimes deprived of their rights and dignity.

Jimenez said that 90 percent of the Filipinos who face problems abroad are working in the domestic sector.

They are abused and maltreated by their employers and most of them seek the help of the ambassadors in their respective countries of work.

During the forum, Jimenez also discussed the issues concerning the OFWs who are affected by the political turmoil in Libya, the disaster in Japan, the execution of three OFWs in China, among others.

He said many workers abroad also fall victim to mail order brides, illegal recruitment, trafficking, and even being used as drug couriers.

Jimenez advised every aspiring Filipino who wants to work abroad to think first and be ready to face the endeavors that they may face in the other countries. He also advised them to ensure that the agencies they are applying in are licensed with job orders, and are following the legal process set by the authorities before going abroad. —(FREEMAN)

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