Villar: Audit P150-million OFW repatriation budget


Senator Cynthia Villar on Monday asked the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to provide her a complete audit report of the DFA’s P150-million budget for re–patriation as she chided the same agency for its slow provision of financial assistance to distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) sent back to the Philippines.

Villar, the chairman of the Senate committee on agriculture and food also urged the Department of Agriculture (DA) to promptly come up with new policies that would strengthen the government’s program for farm assistance to dissuade farmers, their wives or children from leaving the country to seek employment abroad.

In a press briefing that highlighted the presentation of a group of maltreated OFWs, the senator said she wanted a detailed audit from the DFA to find out if the budget was properly disbursed or the amount too small. “The DFA people need to explain their disbursements,” she said.

Villar told newsmen that while others were flown back to the country, most of the OFWs were left unattended. She cited a specific victim who resorted to staying at the Luneta Park because he did not have the money to go home to Mindanao.

The solon said she will write DA Secretary Proseso Alcala a letter requesting his agency to prepare a special program for farmers because she found that majority of the victims of maltreatment abroad were farm workers from Mindanao.


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