Remate – Marcos wants probe on how P100-M OWWA repatriation funds spent
By Estong Reyes | Remate
THE sex-for-flight scheme allegedly perpetrated by embassy and labor officials in the Middle East prompted Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., to file a resolution calling for Senate probe on the P100 million repatriation funds controlled by Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
On Thursday, Marcos filed Senate Resolution NO. 32, calling for Senate inquiry on the disbursement and utilization of P100 million emergency repatriation funds controlled by OWWA intended for repatriation expenses of distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Senate Resolution No. 32 reads as “Directing the appropriate Senate committee to investigate, In aid of legislation, the state of the Emergency Repatriation Fund under the administration, control and supervision of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), to evaluate its utilization and disbursement, and assess its effectiveness in addressing the prompt needs of distressed Overseas Filipino Workers (OWFs) Worldwide.”
Marcos said the resolution aimed to investigate the sex-for-flight scheme allegedly perpetrated by some embassy and labor officials posted in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, and Syria victimizing distressed OFWs by promising them free plane tickets to return to the Philippines in exchange of sexual favors.
“Plane tickets are free for distressed OFWs to be repatriated since the government is mandated to shoulder such expense under Republic Act 8042, or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act of 1995, as amended,” Marcos pointed out.
He said, second paragraph of Section 15 of RA 8042 states: “The Overseas Welfare Workers Administration, in coordination with appropriate international agencies, shall undertake the repatriation of workers in cases of war, epidemic, disaster or calamities, natural or man-made, and other similar events without prejudice to reimbursement by the responsible principal agency.”
However, in cases where the principal or recruitment cannot be identified, all costs attendant to repatriation shall be borne by the OWWA.”
The same section provides the creation and establishment of an emergency repatriation fund under the administration and control of OWWA, initially to consist of Php100 million.”
“We need to know how this fund was or being disbursed. The people handling this should explain and we have to hear from them to know what happened,” Marcos said.