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Pinoy Abroad

Ople to prioritize pandemic assistance, improve system for OFWs

Incoming Migrant Workers chief Susan “Toots” Ople on Wednesday said she would first work on figuring out what possible assistance can be given to overseas Filipino workers in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Interviewed on GMA News’ Unang Balita, Ople noted that cases of COVID-19 as well as monkeypox infections are rising in some areas abroad.

“Ang uunahin ko 'yung parang panoramic view kung ano ba talaga ang kalagayan ng mga OFWs natin sa panahon ng pandemya, anong uri ng saklolo ang kailangan nila,” she said.

(I will prioritize studying the panoramic view of the situation of our OFWs during the pandemic, and determining what kind of help they need.)

Systems review

She added that the Department of Migrant Workers under her leadership will fix the system for OFWs such as the difficulty in obtaining Overseas Employment Certificate and issues with the One Health Pass.

“Magkakaroon kami ng systems review. Magkakaroon din kami ng performance audit para 'yung mga tamang tao nasa tamang lugar,” she said.

(We will have a systems review. We will also have a performance audit so that the right people are in the right place.)

Ople, a long-time advocate of migrant workers’ rights, accepted the offer to lead the newly created department under the administration of presumptive President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

She established the non-government organization Blas Ople Policy Center (BOPC) that assists OFWs. It was named after her father, the late Senate President and Foreign Affairs Secretary Blas Ople. —KG, GMA News