News Release

PBBM vows to boost retraining program for returning OFWs

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. on Wednesday stressed the importance of strengthening the retraining program for returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who had lost their jobs abroad or unable to return to work due to various reasons.

President Marcos said a lot of the OFWs had difficulty in finding jobs upon coming home, a problem more pronounced during the Covid 19 pandemic.

There have been OFWs who have been away from the Philippines for quite some time, and may not have anyone or anywhere to return to. They also have limited options for livelihood.

The government, is however, doing everything it can to reintegrate them to the local workforce, the Chief Executive pointed out.

“That’s been going on for a while. It really was born in the time of the pandemic when many of our OFWs were sent home for health and safety reasons,” President Marcos said.

“As a matter of fact, we will do the training. But we have to be in partnership with the government. And government provides incentives, provides better opportunities for our workers so that they learn new skills and that are relevant to the modern, post-pandemic economy,” he said.

“We had to find jobs for the OFWs that had come back,” the President stressed.

President Marcos cited the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced workers (TUPAD) Project, a program specifically for that. It is for workers who lost their jobs for whatever reason. “And not only our OFWs, our working population in the Philippines [too]. And TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority), that’s why TESDA has suddenly grown,” President Marcos said.

He further stated that the government has allotted a bigger budget to absorb the displaced or retired OFWs who still like to work. The government has also improved the retraining, upskilling and reskilling of OFWs.

“So, they had to come home. And so, we provide support to them. We provide outright support in the meantime and at the same time there are livelihood programs that are available to them, both under DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) and TESDA,” the President said.

President Marcos also noted that the government has many joint programs with the private sector, citing the maritime industry as one of the best examples.

“So, you know, I’ve also tried very hard to strengthen the side of the employment, because there are a lot of livelihood programs,” he said. He noted some of the returning OFWs have learned new skills but there is still a lack of job opportunity.

“And the point of the exercise is magkatrabaho. So, kailangan may placement na doon sa kabila and that’s where the private sector comes in. They will tell you this is what we need,” he said. PND