Monday, January 27, 2014
Jinggoy: Rid POLOs, embassies of negligent, delinquent officers
MANILA-Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada said today that our embassies and labor offices abroad must be rid of negligent and delinquent officers and personnel who are unconcerned to the welfare of our overseas Filipino workers.
This developed as Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz recently upheld the four-month suspension without pay of acting labor attaché Mario Antonio for simple misconduct, specifically for using vulgar and indecent language while talking to an OFW. Meanwhile, the decisions on the separate administrative cases filed against former labor attaché to Riyadh Adam Musa and assistant labor attaché Antonio Villafuerte, have yet to be issued.
Several labor officials were also the subject of an ongoing probe of the National Bureau of Investigation in connection to the sex-for-flight scheme which victimized distressed female wards under their watch into prostitution in exchange for a ticket back to the Philippines.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development added that meting out severe punishment against erring officials of our embassy or Philippine Overseas Labor Office should deter unscrupulous individuals from continuing their unlawful practices and accordingly should signal improved delivery of frontline services for our OFWs and more effective, immediate responses from our labor posts.
Sen. Estrada, who previously headed the Congressional Oversight Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs, said that while he recognizes the larger pool of honest and hardworking labor and welfare officers some of whom he personally met during his official visits to Philippine posts in the Middle East, one cannot deny the fact that there are still a few “rotten tomatoes” in their ranks who victimize hapless OFWs and who allow the so-called sex-for-flight modus to thrive.
“Our Bahay Kalinga and welfare centers should be true to its name of providing relief, assistance and genuine care to our distressed migrant workers. Consequently, people who show no concern and are just sitting on the problems of our OFWs should have no business there and must be immediately sent home,” Jinggoy underscored.
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