"What this Country needs is not a change OF men but a change IN men" March 1980

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Senator Richard J. Gordon yesterday emphasized the need to maintain an up-to-date database and locator system of all Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in all Philippine embassies and consular offices.

During the hearing of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development on the plight of OFWs in war-torn Lebanon, Gordon stressed that all Philippine embassies, particularly the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Resource Centers established under Sec. 19 of RA 8042 or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995, should have an effective data banking and locator system for all OFWs residing in their jurisdictions. This can be done through an amendment to RA 8042.

"Right now we don’t have any tracing capability. Our main concern is the safety of our people but how can we communicate with them with this kind of pitiful situation. The DFA must document all undocumented overseas workers. How can we mount massive evacuation if the embassy itself is not aware of their whereabouts and is simply relying on texting?" said Gordon.

He added that the Philippine embassies should know the number of OFWs in their respective areas and have full control of all the vital information concerning these workers so that the government can protect them and easily pull them out in case of emergency.

Gordon emphasized that 70% of OFWs in Lebanon were undocumented, a problem exacerbated by the embassy’s lack of information system on the workers there.