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Marino party-list to file bill creating Department of OFWs

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Marino party-list Rep. Carlo Lisandro Gonzalez on Monday declared his support for the proposed Department of Overseas Filipino Workers which was recently endorsed by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Gonzalez said he sees the measure spearheaded by Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go “a solution to the problems besetting Filipino seafarers.”

Gonzalez, who represents the maritime and seafarer sectors, expressed interest in supporting the Go’s measure under Senate Bill No. 202 in the House, including filing a counterpart bill to facilitate passage of the law.

The Davao-based solon explained that “seafarers, as OFWs, are… vulnerable because they spend most of their time abroad aboard ships in the high seas, where they are unable to seek assistance for their concerns.”

The neophyte congressman expressed hope that the proposed department, once created, would have a special unit for seafarers, given their unique circumstances.

He noted that seafarers, due to their highly technical field, are severely affected by training and accreditation issues, not to mention the legal and psychological issues overseas Filipinos have to confront.

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