Among the more pressing issues that President Rodrigo Duterte discussed during his fifth State of the Nation Address is helping repatriated Overseas FIlipino Workers (OFW) find jobs and rebuild their lives back home.
Duterte ordered the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to organize special programs — aside from the 71 existing free online trainings — that will upgrade the skills of displaced migrant workers.
The President also asked the Land Bank of the Philippines and other government financial institutions to offer low-interest loans to returning OFWs, and the Commission on Higher Education to allot scholarships for their dependents.
"Sa mga kababayan kong naghihirap sa ibang bansa, nandito lang ang inyong gobyerno para matulungan kayo at ang inyong mga pamilya lalo na sa panahong ito (To my countryment who suffered hardship abroad, your government is here to help you and your families, especially at this time)," said Duterte, who also directed Congress to pass a bill creating the Department of Overseas Filipino Workers.
He also told the Department of Agriculture and Department of Trade and Industry to come up with with agri-business and entrepreneurship projects to assist repatriated OFWs in rebuilding their livelihood.
In the past six months, more than 100,000 migrant workers had been forced to go home due to the coronavirus pandemic.