Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Party List Representative Roy Seneres is set to file two highly awaited bills for the OFWs in the Philippine Congress once he joins the 16th national congress that is scheduled to open on July 1. Seneres’ party-list members who won the recent mid-term elections, are in Kuwait to atted a pre-independence day gathering hosted by the Filipino community in Kuwait and the Philippine Embassy. He is the first OFW party-list member to enter the Philippine Congress carrying the banner of OFWs and the concern of approximately 12 million Filipinos across the world.
Speaking during a press conference yesterday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Seneres highlighted the two bills that he intended to file after assuming his position. “There are two important bills that I’d want to be prioritized once I join the congress this July. One of them would require ambassadors to prioritize the concerns of all OFWs abroad. I want them to regularly check on Filipinos who are incarcerated in foreign lands. I want them to pay regular visits to Filipinos who are in hospitals abroad,” he stated.
“Filipinos who are in jail or in need of a family visit abroad must be helped by ambassadors. I will require the ambassador to do that because it is part of their mandate to protect OFWs. The first thing I would do is to meet with the Secretary of Foreign Affairs to ask for a list of Filipinos who are in dire need of our assistance. OFW protection must be our priority at all times,” Seneres added. He also pledged that within the limited period of his term, he would file all the 13 bills and fulfill the promises he had made during the campaign.
Asked whether he would endorse or support the creation of a new ministry for OFWs, Seneres said, “I don’t support it because I believe the OFW phenomenon is temporary. I don’t want it [to be permanent]. I want our government to [do something and] create new jobs for Filipinos so that Filipinos will return to their homeland.”