Senator Bongbong Marcos asks OWWA to submit report on trust fund utilization

28 January 2013

Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos has asked the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to submit detailed reports on the use of the trust fund under its responsibility sourced from the $25 membership contribution of every Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) going abroad.

This developed after Marcos met with top OWWA officials, led by Administrator Carmelita Dimzon, as well as officials from the Commission on Audit (COA), to pinpoint the bottlenecks preventing efficient use of the OWWA trust fund, now standing at P14.2 billion, in helping OFWs facing problems abroad.

“What I’m interested in is how we could maximize the use of the fund to help as many OFW’s as possible at the soonest possible time,” Marcos stressed.

The senator noted that he continues to receive complaints from families of OFWs about the lack of assistance to their loved ones facing problems abroad.

Earlier, Marcos called for relaxation of rules in the utilization of OWWA trust fund, which remains largely untapped, noting that these regulations hamper the government’s efforts to help OFWs needing assistance.

Dimzon explained that the OWWA’s operation is guided by the policies formulated by the Board of Trustees, which also approves the budget for the operation of the agency. On the other hand, the COA approves the OWWA expenditures based on the policies of the Board of Trustees.

OWWA provides on-site assistance to OFWs through its personnel manning 35 posts in 25 countries overseas in cooperation with labor attaches and other Philippine embassy officials.

Dimzon reported that majority of cases of distressed OFWs are those employed as household workers and the most common problems they face include maltreatment, long working hours and contract substitution.

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