Thanks to Atty. Fred for reminding me of the Workshop that I attended last 15 September 2006.
The afternoon session of the Filcom Leaders Consultation Workshop was participated by various groups in Riyadh. Though, some of the faces were new to me. Thinking aloud that it is a good sign that unity can be achieved through constant dialogues like the workshop initiated by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office.
Overview of the workshop focuses on what consultation is all about in which it defines as a fundamental needs in a democratic process. It is a tool in development of work and a means to harmonize varying positions towards common goals.
Labor Attache Resty Dela Fuente emphasized during the introduction of the concept, that as an association and partners with the Philippine Mission there must be a consultation to each other for the following specific objectives: 1) To reach out to the Filipino Community; 2) To identify common felt-needs, problems, issues, and concerns affecting OFW’s; 3) To envision corresponding responses and; 4) to cultivate the practice of solution-oriented thinking, collaborative planning, and joint execution of programs, and activities.
We were divided into 5 groups in which we were given a task to identify the top 5 common felt-needs, problems, issues and concerns of OFW’s.
For the 5 needs identified by the groups, I noticed that one was very common; it means we really felt the urgent solution to this problem. The need of more case officers/interpreters to handle the flood of cases in our Labor Office is of great importance that our Government should seriously heeded for. Not to mention the lack of transportation facilities for our POLO officers handling OFW cases.
One more thing I observed, my suggestion for a total ban of deployment of Filipina household help in the Kingdom were not even included in our group report. Anyway, I will try again in another forum, mahirap kapag nag-iisa.
The next workshop is scheduled on 28th and 29th, September 2006 for the next batches 3, 4 & 5. Until then that our Labor Office could summarize the issues and concerns together with the recommended solutions from all participating groups.
We salute the Labor Office for this laudable moved, however I may say that all of these issues were already brought up to previous PhilEmb and POLO officials and even to our national leaders at home but until now the problem remains the same. Hoping that this time it would be different.
By the way, to those having difficulties in contacting our Labor Office, please try this numbers, 0508475854 and 0508475882. This emergency numbers are open 24/7. Hindi raw ito puwedeng isarado, at hindi nag low low bat at hindi rin nauubusan ng load. Pero mga kababayan ang numerong ito hindi po ticketting office o travel agency.
To Labor Attache Resty Dela Fuente, WE, OFW’s in the Kingdom are counting on you.