Categories
Politics

TAP TALENT POOL OF RETURNING OFWS – VILLANUEVA

Government should have a “national strategy” on how to tap the “huge talent pool” made up of hundreds of thousands of overseas Filipino workers who have returned home for good during the pandemic.

The call was made by Senator Joel Villanueva after the Philippine Statistics Authority reported that the number of registered OFWs shrunk by 18.6% in 2020 as compared to the year before.

“This is the brain gain we should be exploiting.”

“This is the brain gain we should be exploiting. There is a social dividend waiting to be earned from this reverse Diaspora,” Villanueva said.

“I view their return as an enhancement of our labor pool. They’re bringing with them skills they have acquired abroad. Our society must benefit from their experience, and the government must show the way,” the veteran legislator said.

The seasoned lawmaker stressed “manpower and mentorship” which returned OFWs can provide is needed for post-COVID economic recovery.

“One area is construction, both private and public,” the senator said. “The Build Build Build program has been hobbled by the lack of skilled technicians.”

According to him, balikbayan ICT professionals could also help in pushing the economy towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution future.

“The education sector will also benefit if these OFWs are hired to teach and impart real-world know-how,” Villanueva said. “OFWs can be agents of upskilling.”

“If the national government is having a hard time filling technical positions in its 250,000 job vacancies, then perhaps it should launch a job fair or hiring roadshow to lure qualified OFWs.”

He also proposed that if the national government is having a hard time filling technical positions in its 250,000 job vacancies, “then perhaps it should launch a job fair or hiring roadshow to lure qualified OFWs.”

According to the PSA, the ranks of OFWs dropped from 2.18 million in 2019 to 1.77 million in 2020.

The net drop of 405,000 is almost half of the 897,000 OFWs the government repatriated since the onset of the pandemic until December 31, 2021.

Villanueva said there are many laws that mandate the government to reintegrate these workers into the economic fabric of the nation.

“Yung Section 17 ng bagong pasa na Department of Migrant Workers Act ay nag-uutos ng ‘full-cycle national reintegration program’,” he noted.

The law explicitly calls for the “transfer of technology from skilled or professional OFWs,” Villanueva said.

Another law is Republic Act 11230, which institutes a Philippine Labor Force Competencies Competitiveness Program, popularly known as Tulong-Trabaho Act. To boost labor skills, Tulong-Trabaho Act resulted in the adoption of a broad Philippine Skills Framework which “seeks to equip Filipino workers with skills mastery and lifelong learning”.

Both the Tulong Trabaho Act and the DMW Act are sponsored and principally authored by Villanueva.

“To fast track the implementation of programs that will enrich our technical skills, the participation of OFWs is a must. If they have been able to conquer the world with their abilities, it is time to tap it for the progress of their homeland,” he concluded.

Home

SHARE THIS ARTICLE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.