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MANILA, Philippines – Binansagan silang mga bagong bayani ngunit hirap ang dinaras ng maraming overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) nitong mga nakaraang buwan sa gitna ng pandemya.
Kung hindi sila stranded sa Maynila at hindi makauwi sa kanilang mga probinsya, sila naman ay sumailalim sa prolonged quarantine para sa resulta ng kanilang testing para sa coronavirus. Ngunit ang mga problemang ito ay tip of the iceberg lamang.
Sa episode na ito, pag-uusapan nina Rappler foreign affaris reporter Sofia Tomacruz at researcher-writer Jodesz Gavilan kung ano ang mga isyung umusbong nitong mga nakaraang buwan patungkol sa mga OFWs, bakit naging ganito ang sitwasyon, at kung sino ang dapat managot.
Ayon kay Tomacruz, ang mga problemang umusbong at hinarap ng repatriated OFWs ay dahil sa kakulangan sa foresight at pagka-overwhelm ng sistema.
So what the government is doing now to try and address that problem is to either limit and schedule arrivals so as not to overwhelm a certain area or even spread them out across the country… But I think what they can do and perhaps try to put some focus din is to tap groups that can help them optimize their systems or even maybe help them with the logistics because, I recall speaking with an OFW who is an engineer for a Japanese company and he was saying, it’s so frustrating that there seems to be no coordination among agencies involved in taking care of OFWs because… it’s largely OFWs who have to end up managing and monitoring their own cases kasi kung hindi sila gagalaw, they’ll just be stuck in quarantine forever.
Mahaba-haba pa ang pandemic at maaari pang dumating ang punto na maraming mawawalan ng trabaho sa mga OFW. Ano ang dapat gawin ng gobyerno? Ayon kay Tomacruz:
I really think that government should prioritize giving Filipinos here viable work options kasi di ba for the longest time sinasabi ng mga officials na there are jobs but OFWs will tell you those jobs aren’t really an option. They don’t earn enough in those kind of jobs that are available. We should find a way to provide them with better paying jobs, viable jobs, and I think hindi lang iyon concern ng government, but also let’s say businesses in general. But I think, more than that, more than let’s say the economic impact, we should look into the families. It’s their families, the reasons why they go abroad in the first place is to support their families… This is also what the government should look into and prepare for, I think, because when OFWs come home, it’s not only the worker that’s affected but the future of their entire family is also suddenly uncertain.
Saan nagkulang ang gobyerno? Ano pa ang maaaring problemang dumating sa mga susunod na buwan? Pakinggan ang podcast na ito.
Ang Newsbreak: Beyond the Stories ay isang podcast series ng Rappler tungkol sa mahahalaga at malalaking isyu sa Pilipinas. – Rappler.com
Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler
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