As President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr.’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA) nears, many overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) want the chief executive to tackle many issues that concern them, specifically the issuance of OEC, obtaining contract verification, and One Health Pass, among other things that deemed to be ‘unimportant’ for them.
Others look forward to hearing Marcos discuss his ‘concrete’ plans for the economy in the country, inflation rate, and transportation.
Speaking to The Global Filipino Magazine, Pocholo Marquez III, a juijiteiro based in Abu Dhabi, said that apart from having concrete plans for the progression of the country, the president should also return the alleged ill-gotten wealth his family amassed, and resolve his tax evasion issue.
“Konkretong plano nya sa inflation and transportation. Concrete plans and pag balik nya sa mga nakaw na yaman and pag bayad ng tax issue,” he said.
For her part, Dubai-based video editor and digital artist Kaye Solis said she is not expecting much from Marcos; however, she still hopes he addresses the inflation rate, transportation problem, and the increasing Covid-19 infection rate in the country ‘without trying to deny the numbers presented to him.’
Marcos has disagreed with the state statistician report showing a 6.1 percent inflation reading in June, saying that ‘we are not that high’. His remark on the inflation rate was later clarified by Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, saying that the chief executive was referring to the full-year figure of around 4.4 percent.
Meanwhile, Clifford Vitug, 27, an OFW accountant in Dubai, wants to know if the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) for OFWs will be in full operation in one year.
The newly-established department will absorb six labor agencies, including the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), International Labor Affairs Bureau, National Reintegration Centre for Overseas Filipino Workers, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and the National Maritime Polytechnic.
“Sana next budget hearing kasama na siya. Sana marinig ko rin sa kanya na i-revisit nila yung mga requirements o proseso konektado sa mga OFWs, like OEC, Pag-ibig, OWWA Membership. Sana mauna yun bago ang iba pang programang nabanggit niya gaya ng pabahay daw,” Vitug added.
The OFW also hoped that Marcos will nominate a new health secretary to address the Covid-19 situation in the country.
“At higit sa lahat, gusto ko makarinig ng konkretong plano paano lalabanan ang pagtaas ng presyo ng bilihin,” Vitug further added.
On Tuesday, July 20, The Global Filipino Magazine asked its followers about Marcos’ plans for OFWs during his first SONA.
Below are some of their reactions: