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Señeres seeks scholarship for dependents of dead, disabled OFWs

A Filipino Muslim woman displays a message as they picket the Foreign Affairs office in Manila Monday Jan. 31, 2011 to urge the Philippine Government to ensure the safety of Filipinos in Egypt, known as OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers), following days of protests against the 30-year-rule of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Officials said more than 6,000 Filipinos are working in Egypt and has drawn contingency plans for the possible repatriation of its citizens. (MNS Photo)

A Filipino Muslim woman displays a message as they picket the Foreign Affairs office in Manila Monday Jan. 31, 2011 to urge the Philippine Government to ensure the safety of Filipinos in Egypt, known as OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers), following days of protests against the 30-year-rule of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Officials said more than 6,000 Filipinos are working in Egypt and has drawn contingency plans for the possible repatriation of its citizens. (MNS Photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – OFW Family party list Rep. Roy V. Señeres on Tuesday sought the establishment of educational scholarship program for dependents of overseas Filipino workers, who have died or suffered total and permanent disabilities while working abroad.

Seneres said House Bill 3070, or the “OFW Dependents Educational Scholarship Act of 2013,” of which he is the principal author, would enable dependents of dead or disabled OFWs to lessen their economic dislocation and continue their education.

Justifying the proposed educational program for OFW dependents, Seneres described the dead or disabled OFWs as “economic soldiers,” who “deserve to be treated as ‘casualties’ of war against poverty.”

The secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) who commented on his bill claimed it would implement the proposed educational program in coordination with the Department of Education (DepEd), the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and other concerned government agencies.

He said they would formulate and implement its implementing rules and regulations 90 days after the bill’s effectivity as law.

According to the former ambassador turned politician, the educational program will have an initial budgetary outlay of P100 million. The bill also seeks the inclusion of the program in the annual General Appropriations Act, or the national budget.

In its explanatory note, Seneres said the proposed educational programs for the dependents of dead or disabled OFWs reinforces the relevant provisions of the Constitution, the Family Code, and the Labor Code, which seek recognizes the Filipino family, and the rights of children for assistance.

It seeks to recognize Section 2, (3) Article XIV of the Constitution, which provides: ”The State shall: (3) Establish and maintain a system of scholarship grants, student loan programs, subsidies, and other incentives which shall be available to deserving students in both public and private schools, especially to the underprivileged.”

It seeks to recognize the Section 18, Article II, of the Labor Code, which states: “The State affirms labor as a primary social economic force. It shall protect the rights of workers and promote their welfare.” (MNS)

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