DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The proposed policy of Overseas Workers Welfare Administration that would prohibit mothers to leave their young children to designated guardians while working abroad has drawn mixed reaction.
Rosalie Pastor Trazona, an overseas worker based in Davao del Norte, has expressed disapproval to the proposed policy, citing “meager income” in the country has pushed her to work abroad for the benefit of her family.
“The truth is, if our salary in the Philippines is sufficient enough, there’s no reason for mothers like me to work abroad. I for one knows that it is difficult to leave my children,” she told DavaoToday in an interview.
Trazona said OWWA should conduct a public consultation first before instituting such policy.
She said leaving her young children to the care of her relatives or guardians are much safer.
“Life abroad is not easy, we have to adjust to the culture to be able to work there,” she said.
If OWWA will push the implementation of the policy, OFW mothers, especially single-mothers will have a hard time to provide the needs of their children, according to Trazona.
“Even if there is an increase of salary, it couldn’t compensate because the prices of goods have increased too and we have some debts to pay as well,” she added.
Mary Ann Sapar, spokesperson of Gabriela Women’s Partylist in Davao, blamed poverty, unemployment, job contractualization, no access for basic social services—as the root causes why OFW mothers sought greener pasture abroad.
“These are some of the reasons why OFW mothers decided to go to other countries without any security of having a comfortable life,” she said.
Sapar said the government should instead push for the national industrialization and agrarian reform in order to generate jobs for career-oriented Filipino mothers.
Eduardo Bellido, regional director of OWWA XI, said the proposed policy will be passed in aid of legislation.
“We really have to look into this, because not only the elderly need care. How about the children? We have to bolster our efforts to protect not only the OFW, but also the family,” Bellido said.
OWWA said in 2015, an estimate of 2.4 million Filipinos are working overseas. Female OFWs reached up to 51.1 percent compared to male OFWs 48.9 percent. (davaotoday.com)