As part of its pastoral care for overseas Filipino workers, the Catholic Church plans to beef up migrants' desks in parishes.
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines said this is among the measures it is considering to ease the problems of OFWs and their families.
“The ministries for the pastoral care of migrants and their families should set up desks in every parish where regular seminars can be given to persons who plan to work abroad,” CBCP president and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said.
He said those manning these desks "must be trained in their tasks, and thus should also have gone through the proper paralegal courses with the private and government agencies involved in labor migration and foreign travel.”
So far, the CBCP said 80 percent of dioceses in Luzon have a migrants’ desk, 70 percent in the Visayas, and about 50 percent in Mindanao.
The CBCP said it hopes the migrants’ desks in the parishes could help protect the interest of OFWs and their families.
On the other hand, the CBCP maintained the ideal is for Filipinos to consider working abroad as an option, and not being forced to do so because of their economic situation.
It added there should also be a safe atmosphere for work and travel.
“But the increasingly global nature of the economy should also provide and ensure that work and travel should be safe and not be a channel for criminal activity,” the CBCP said.
The CBCP cited the case of Mary Jane Veloso the Filipina facing execution in Indonesia after she was caught bringing in heroin there.
It said Veloso's plight showed the existence of syndicates that recruit the people to carry out their crimes. — Joel Locsin/LBG, GMA News