SEN. Juan Edgardo Angara has pressed for the deployment of more social welfare attachés (SWAs) to beef up the Philippine diplomatic mission in countries swamped with pleas for help from distressed Filipinos.
He made the proposal amid reports of mounting cases of OFWs abused or maltreated by their employers.
“There is an urgent need to send more SWAs because there are only four social welfare officers deployed by the government across the globe,” Angara said.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has two SWAs posted in Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, and one each in Kuwait and Malaysia.
There are plans to send three more SWAs to Dubai, Qatar and Hong Kong.
“In the division of labor inside what is basically a multi-agency embassy, there are assigned personnel that can handle legal cases, liaise with local police, as well as military, trade, agriculture attachés, “ Angara said.
“But what is lacking is a trained professional who can provide the three essential Cs–care, comfort and counseling–to Filipinos in crisis situations in need of special protection,” he said.