EDITORIAL | More than legal aid

FRESH from their legal mission to serve overseas Filipino workers in Singapore, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Davao Chapter led by its president Rogelio Largo said yesterday they now have a stronger handle on what ails our workers abroad.

Some 250 OFWs went to their lecture series on Expanded Trafficking-in-Persons law, Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children, and the Family Code provisions on marriage, property and on support. This is on top of the free legal consultation they conducted with the OFWs.

This is the second legal mission of the IBP Davao City chapter, the first one was in HongKong in October 2017 where they joined other IBP chapters across the country. The experience allowed them to craft details of the legal mission in Singapore.

While OFWs in the two countries share the same problems regarding family relations and estrangement, the lawyers felt that in Singapore, OFWs need more than legal assistance – they need someone to talk to about their personal problems which may not necessarily result to legal action.

The remittance of migrant workers has kept our economy afloat. In a forum organized by ASKI Global in Singapore, Finance Undersecretary Gil S. Beltran said that OFWs improve the lives of their families, their communities and the national economy. That is why they must have a voice in how things are run in the country.

On the flip side, our OFWs need support that transcends the government’s assurance of fair labor practice in the country they are working. Being away from the family causes too much strain and some OFWs decidedly need emotional and psychological support to make it through the day.  The government agencies taking care of OFWs might be able to think of programs to support these needs of our OFWs.

We truly appreciate the lawyers who spent time, effort and resources to conduct the legal mission for  overseas workers in Singapore and Hong Kong.


Posted in Opinion