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Legal Assistance Fund for OFWs

Saturday, October 1, 2011

In another breath of fresh legal air, following a landmark legal triump of a Filipina Domestic Helper in Hong Kong for her permanent residency status, the Philippine government is fully restoring the legal assistance fund for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the 2012 budget.

OFWs have reason to be glad about recent legal news.
Image from Dreamstime Free Photos

What is the legal assistance fund for OFWs?
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) uses the fund to help detained OFWs by paying for lawyers, bail, “and other costs associated with going to court."

According to law, the fund should be formed by:
  • P50 million from the President’s contingency fund
  • P30 million from the Presidential Social Fund
  • P20 million from the trust fund of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration
It will be run by the DFA's Legal Assistant for Migrant Workers, who takes charged in “the provision and overall coordination of all legal aid services to OFWs and other Filipinos abroad." [Source]
It is high time that the Philippine government prioritize giving OFWs their due legal aid. After all, they are an integral contributor to the Philippine economy.

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