DAGUPAN CITY – The city’s Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and seafarers were given free legal consultation by the International Pro-Bono Network on September 9 at the city museum.
Simultaneously, the Public Employment and Service Office (PESO) in cooperation with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) also conducted a seminar on the rights of OFWs and Seafarers.
PESO Manager Jocelyn Z. Siapno said this was International Pro-Bono Network's first undertaking of giving free legal consultations to OFWs and Seafarers who may become victims of unfair labor practices and abuses abroad.
“We are privileged to be the first LGU in the country chosen by the network's lawyers to give their pro-bono or free services to our countrymen. This is indeed a blessing for us so we could help several of our city mates working abroad who have become victims of abuses,” said Mayor Belen T. Fernandez citing several Dagupeños in the past who were rescued and repatriated back home with the help of the city’s OFW Desk which she created.
Aside from getting free consultation, the participants were also oriented on protecting seafarers’ rights and on OFW contracts' interpretation and enforcement.
The seminar was also attended by OFW family members, including Barangay OFW Migrant Desk Officers, barangay officials and OFW Association officers.
The speakers included lawyers Alvin Bautista, Francine Lingod and Pinkie Bernabe. (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO/Sept. 9, 2015)