House Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is seeking to offer unemployment benefits to displaced and returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
In her House Bill No. 2209, Arroyo said a number of returning OFWs are without jobs after spending years of employment outside the Philippines. She said the OFWs’ restoration in the workplace is a challenges because most of them do not have many options for employment upon their return.
Arroyo said the Social Security System (SSS) should give unemployment benefits to returning Filipino workers to help them address the insistent financial difficulty that unemployment brings and to enable the OFW to look for alternative options while looking for gainful employment.
Under her bill, an OFW who is an SSS member for at least seven years and have regularly paid monthly contributions for the same period is eligible to receive the unemployment benefit. They must be actively looking for employment for at least 30 days previous to filing the claim, and they must have searched for assistance from a concerned government agency in seeking employment.
If eligible, a qualified OFW will receive a monthly unemployment benefit for a period of a maximum of 12 months or until unemployment finishes, whichever comes first. OFWs can only avail of this benefit once every seven years.
Arroyo said the national government will automatically give the funding requirement annually, which shall be equivalent to 10% of 1% of the total OFW remittances of the immediate preceding year.
The SSS agreed to give the unemployment benefit to returning OFWs but said a study should be made to conclude the rate of benefit. House Committee Chairman on Government Enterprises Jesus Sacdalan said a technical working group should be founded.
Source : ABS CBN