OFWs seek police aid for kids ‘at risk’ of leftist recruitment

MANILA As most Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are parents who took the leap of leaving the country to provide for their children's education, an officer of a group of OFWs in the Philippines on Monday said direct coordination with police is necessary to ensure that children are kept away from communist-front groups' activities.

Napaka-vulnerable ng mga anak ng OFW. Hindi namin nalalaman kung ano ang totoong status nila. Ang pakay lang naman namin sa abroad ay to have a house, negosyo, and provide for the family. (Children of OFWs are vulnerable. We do not know their real status. The reason why we work away from home is to build a house, business, and provide for the family), said Ako OFW Chairman, Dr. Chie Umandap, in a phone interview.

Umandap worked as a dentist in Kuwait's Ministry of Health for 12 years. He is currently among the Board of Trustees of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

Napakasakit para sa isang OFW na mabalitaan na ganun. Paano ko isusumbong, ano ang dapat kong gawin para mapigilan ito (It's very painful to hear news that. How do I call the authorities' attention? Who do I reach out to for help?), he continued, referring to news that some of their children join leftist organizations.

In a similar discussion on Thursday last week at the Villamor Airbase of the Philippine Air Force's Virtual TV, lawyer Tara Rama, Chief of Staff of the Undersecretary for Legal Affairs of Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), said she could suggest solutions to concerns of OFWs with affiliate agencies of the government.

We, in PCOO, can propose to create a hotline specifically for this, with the cooperation of all agencies in the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), she shared.

She made this response after Umandap raised the probability of having direct contact with the police regarding concerns of OFWs on their children who are left without guidance as they enter universities allegedly infested with communist group recruiters.

Yung sa illegal drugs kasi meron kaming nahihingan ng tulong kapag nababalitaan namin na gumagamit o napapabarkada ang anak namin sa mga gumagamit. Pwedeng papuntahan sa station commander, yung anak namin. (If it's illegal drugs, we can ask for help and the station commander can check the activities of our children), Umandap said during the forum.

In September last year, the Philippine National Police (PNP) reached out to Filipinos working overseas through its Global Police Community Relations program.

Through the PNP Police Community Relations Group's (PCRG) website as well as Twitter and Facebook pages, Filipinos abroad can report crimes in their hometowns and seek assistance from Philippine-based law enforcement.

Chief Supt. Rhodel Sermonia, who headed the operations, said the Global PCR launch aims to connect to Filipinos abroad.

We'll be able to answer whatever concerns or queries. Or, in our own little way, we'll be able to address their problems especially the emotional problems that they will encounter if their loved ones left in the Philippines are encountering also some emotional problems, he said in previous reports.

But aside from tips that may prevent crimes, Sermonia said the Global PCR program will also serve as a platform for the PNP to show some of the rehabilitation and livelihood programs in the Philippines. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency