In line with its sustained advocacy to protect the best interests of our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their families, the Villar Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance (SIPAG) recently conducted an anti-scam seminar-forum that provided tips to migrant workers on how to avoid and combat scammers.
The forum dubbed, “Huwag Magpaloko: Alagaan at Palaguin ang Kita ng Ating mga Bagong Bayani, was held at the Nasugbu Auditorium in partnership with the Blas F. Ople Policy Center and Training Institute, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Municipality of Nasugbu.
Villar SIPAG and the Blas F. Ople Policy Center and Training Institute have been holding anti-investment scam symposiums in different places of the country since 2015.
Around 150 OFWs and their families attended the forum which informed them on the most common scams and modus operandi of syndicates preying on migrant workers and their family circle.
The training is part of Villar SIPAG’s advocacy to promote the best interests of our “bagong bayani” and provide them and their families with livelihood and investment opportunities.
“Ayaw na namin na dumami pa ang mga malulungkot na kwento ng mga OFWs na naloloko sa pera. Napakarami nang pinagdadaanan na problema at pagsubok ng mga OFWs, so in our own way, we want to help provide the solution and we also want to empower migrant workers against these unscrupulous individuals and these syndicates who specifically target OFWs and their families,” said Senator Cynthia Villar, Director of Villar SIPAG.
Migrant workers’ advocate Susan Ople who is also the president of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center and Training Institute expressed delight on the holding of the anti-scam forum saying that OFWs and their families are oftentimes unsuspecting preys of many syndicates.
Nasugbu Mayor Antonio Barcelon welcomed the Villar SIPAG and allied agencies to their municipality saying that this forum is very critical in order to protect our continuously growing number of OFWs.
An audio-visual presentation that showed the different scams against OFWs and their families was shown.
DTI also gave a talk on investment and other related scams targeting OFWs while the National Bureau of Investigation gave a lecture on protection against identity theft and cyber crime.
The Philippine Overseas and Employment Administration discussed ways for OFWs to protect themselves against illegal recruitment and trafficking.
During the forum, OFWs and their families were also given smart tips on how to make secure and stable real estate investments.
Each talk was followed by an open forum allowing the OFWs and their families to ask questions for a better understanding of the topics discussed.
As of 2016, there is an estimated 2.2 million OFWs all over the world. Remittances sent by OFWs for December 2016 hit a record high of $2.56 billion, up by 5% for the same month of the previous year.