Duterte signs the OFW Handbook law

President Rodrigo Duterte enacted the bill which aims to produce a manual on the rights and responsibilities of Filipino Overseas Workers (OFW).

Republic Law 11227, also known as the “Handbook for OFWs Act of 2018”, was signed by the president on February 22, but was not made public until Saturday.

Under the new law, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) will develop, publish and disseminate a standard manual on the rights and responsibilities of Filipino migrant workers.

The OFW manual is provided free of charge to all land and sea workers.

The guide will serve as a reference for OFW rights and contain vital information to help Filipino workers resolve their issues and concerns overseas.

It would also include information on working and living conditions in the destination country, as well as in the Philippines for their return.

The manual should be written in languages, including local dialects, that would be easily understood by OFWs.

The POEA, in coordination with the other agencies concerned, is mandated to implement the new law, which comes into force 15 days after its publication in the Official Journal and in at least one newspaper with a large circulation.

Senator Joel Villanueva, chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development, said earlier that distributing such a manual would help prevent abuse by Filipinos overseas.

The movement, he added, also complements worker education programs by various government agencies working on the welfare of OFWs.

“With the growing number of abuses against OFWs, perhaps we can get back to basics by providing our overseas workers with the right information at the right time and in the right way,” said Villanueva. CATHERINE S. VALENTE