DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment has opened its 14th one-stop center to cater to the concerns of overseas Filipino workers in a shopping mall in Davao City on Friday, Aug. 11.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, who graced the opening of the One-Stop Service Center for OFWs, said they aim to help the migrant workers save time and money to secure documents they need.
The 400-square meter center houses 15 line agencies, including the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, National Reintegration Center for OFWs, Department of Foreign Affairs, Philippine Statistics Authority, Pag-Ibig, Philhealth, Commission on Higher Education, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Professional Regulation Commission, National Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Immigration, Bureau of Internal Revenue, City Government of Davao, and the Philippine National Police.
According to DOLE, the center’s schedule is from 10 am to 7 pm, Tuesdays to Saturdays.
“We are bringing these services closer to the people in order to lessen the burden on our OFWs in securing the necessary documents they need to work abroad. This is among the ways by which government can pay back their heroism and recognition of their enormous contribution to our economy,” Bello said.
In an interview at the sidelines of the OSSCO opening, Kelvin Gaisano, mall manager, said when the DOLE approached them that they are looking for a space to house the center.
“We were told that a space was needed so we looked for a location and we coordinated with the DOLE on how to execute the plan,” Gaisano said.
The mall provides the space for the government free of charge.
Gaisano said the structure, space and utilities is their way of helping the government to provide service to OFWs and their families. He said the space will be available for government use “as long as it is needed.”
“Wala pong end of contract, open contract po, hanggang sa kailangan po ng government. Basta ang goal namin po matulungan yung kapwa Pilipino (There is no end of contract, it is an open contract, as long as the government needs it they can use it. Our goal is to help our fellow Filipinos),” Gaisano said.
Gaisano said if the center works out well, they are willing to house other one-stop center for OFWs in other Gaisano malls in Mindanao. There are currently five Gaisano Malls in Mindanao.
Meanwhile, Bello clarified that they are not promoting labor migration.
“The President himself repeatedly expressed his desire to bring home all OFWs so that they can be with their families,” Bello said.
He added: “In due time, there will be enough decent and sustainable jobs for every Filipino worker at home. In due time, working overseas will just be an option and not a necessity.”(davaotoday.com)