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april02.2014 bBan collection of fees from OFWs as travel pre-condition

april02.2014 bBan collection of fees from OFWs as travel pre-condition

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Ban collection of fees from OFWs as travel pre-condition
Ban collection of fees from OFWs as travel pre-condition

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Published by: pribhor2 on Apr 02, 2014
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APRIL 2, 2014

NR # 3424B

Ban collection of fees from OFWs as travel pre-condition
“Why demand unnecessary fees and make travel more difficult for our financially hard-pressed workers seeking employment abroad?” a party-list lawmaker bewailed. OFW Family arty-list !ep. !oy "e#eres is pushing for the passage of the proposed “OFW $ravel rotection %ct of &'()” contained in *+ )''). *+ )'') prohibits the collection of any amount of money in any form or for any purpose from departing Filipino workers as pre-condition for travel. “$he right to travel is guaranteed by the ,onstitution. -t is absolute e.cept when the interest of/ a0 national security1 b0 public safety or1 c0 public health is at stake2” "e#eres stressed. $he author was citing "ection 32 %rticle --- of the ,onstitution providing inter-alia/ “4either shall the right to travel be impaired e.cept in the interest of national security2 public safety and public health2 as may be provided by law.” “Our modern-day heroes do not deserve to be pu5nished2 inconvenienced or annoyed when seeking to e.ercise their right to travel to foreign countries to find golden opportunities for the sake of their loved ones2” "e#eres pointed out. %cknowledging that money is the lifeblood of the economy2 "e#eres cited the OFWs6 yearly contribution 7remittances0 to the coffers of the government to the tune of 8"9&&-billion which need not be overemphasi:ed. $his volume of remittances2 he added2 has afforded the hilippine economy a “lifeblood transfusion” for its economic survival way back in the ;'6s when the country6s economy was then referred to as “$he "ick <an of %sia.” "ection & of *+ )'') declares/ “-t shall be unlawful to impose2 e.act or collect any sum of money in any form as for any purpose from a department overseas Filipino Worker as a pre-condition for travel e.cept those authori:ed by law.” "e#eres noted that in recognition of the inviolability of the right to travel of every Filipino citi:en2 !epublic %ct 4o. 5&=> otherwise known as the hilippine assport %ct of (>>3 declares in "ection & thereof/ “$he people6s right to travel shall be inviolable.” “$he passage of a law for the restrictions is condition sine qua non. 8nless there is such a law2 the right to travel is paramount and absolute. $he restraint should not be done

in the guise of forced or compulsory contribution as this will constitute restraint in disguise2” "e#eres e.plained. "e#eres recalled a "upreme ,ourt issuance in the case of "alonga vs. *ermoso2 >; ",!% (&( which stated/ “-t is desirable that respondent $ravel rocessing ,enter "hould e.ercise the utmost care to avoid the impression that certain citi:ens desirous of e.ercising their right to travel could be sub?ected to inconvenience or annoyance.” “We should not lose sight of the fact that OFWs are forced to leave the country2 not for pleasure2 but to work in a foreign land for the sake of their loved ones. We cannot simply close our eyes to the reality that before they leave the country to work abroad2 most if not all OFWs are already burdened with huge indebtedness. "ometimes they would even sell their properties or personal belongings2 ?ust to finance their trip2” the author pointed out. $he author also noted that the Overseas @mployment ,ontract between the foreign employer and the OFW includes provisions which take care of the health and welfare of the OFW. “$he hilippine Overseas @mployment %dministration 7 O@%0 cannot ignore this fact2” "e#eres stressed. $he O@% shall initiate the filing of appropriate criminal complaint in the Aepartment of Bustice or any law enforcement agency2 against any individual2 ?uridical entity2 its officers and personnel who violate the provisions of the proposed statute. 7='0

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