House okays 2 OFW-oriented bills on 2nd reading

By Filane Mikee Cervantes

October 17, 2018, 6:00 pm

MANILA – The House of Representatives has approved on second reading two measures aimed at empowering and protecting overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

In a statement on Wednesday, Bagong Henerasyon Party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy said the Lower House approved House Bill (HB) No. 8110, which proposes a standard handbook on the rights and responsibilities of OFWs, and HB 1700, which grants OFWs the right to equal protection on money claims.

"The OFW Handbook will empower them with information on how to assert their rights and responsibilities while equal protection on money claims means firmer legal footing for enforcement of rights on just compensation,” Herrera-Dy said.

Under HB 8110, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) is mandated to develop, publish, disseminate, and update a handbook on the rights and responsibilities of migrant workers.

The POEA shall also be the lead agency in implementing an intensified program against illegal recruitment activities.

The POEA shall provide a comprehensive gender-sensitive Pre-employment Orientation Seminar that will discuss topics not only on the prevention of illegal recruitment but also on the content of the handbook on the rights and responsibilities of migrant workers.

The bill also provides that the handbook shall be written in simple words that can be easily understood, with translation in local language as may be necessary.

Meanwhile, HB 1700 seeks to amend Republic Act No. 8042, otherwise known as the “Migrant Workers and Filipino Migrants Act of 1995”, by deleting the clause "or for three months for every year of the unexpired term whichever is less" found on the fifth paragraph of Section 10 of the law.

This clause refers to money claims for the unexpired portion of a migrant worker's contract.
Under the measure, a worker shall be entitled to the full reimbursement of his placement fee and deduction made with interest at 12 percent per annum in case of termination of overseas employment without just, valid or authorized cause as defined by law or contract, or any unauthorized deduction from the migrant worker’s salary. (PNA)