CBCP to govt: Brace for OFW retrenchments

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BALANGA City, Bataan: The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Ecumenical Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People (CBCP – ECMI) on Wednesday urged the government to take measures to cushion the impact of the global slump in oil prices on the jobs of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

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“Hundreds of thousands of Filipino workers in the Middle East are in danger of losing their jobs. A widespread retrenchment will definitely adversely affect their dependents here,” Bataan Bishop Ruperto Santos, CBCP – ECMI chairman said.

He urged the government to immediately prepare a contingency plan for such an eventuality.

“Our government should coordinate with the host countries where Filipinos are employed to obtain accurate data on the conditions of the OFWs and also on an orderly exit for them, including separation/termination benefits,” Santos said.

On the part of the church commission, the prelate said they will intensify pastoral programs for OFWS by reaching out to them through chaplains and to their families through the parishes.

“These will include seminars and counseling on how to handle and deal with the situation and providing moral and spiritual support,” the bishop said.

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