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Saturday, May 18, 2024

CHR welcomes opening of VIP lounge at NAIA

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THE Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Friday lauded the completion and opening of a 24/7 free VIP lounge for overseas Filipino workers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1.

“This initiative stands as a testament to our commitment to providing a comfortable and supportive space for the well-being and relaxation of our hardworking OFWs,” the CHR said.

The VIP lounge would be the first of many OFW lounges to open at international airports in Metro Manila, Clark and Cebu with the provision of a variety of food and beverage options, comfortable chairs, wi-fi and charging stations.

Republic Act 8042 or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 states that the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) shall continue to formulate and implement welfare programs for overseas Filipino workers and their families in all phases of overseas employment — encompassing pre-departure, on-site, and reintegration programs of OFWs.

The OFW lounge was a joint project of the House of Representatives under Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, the OWWA, the Department of Migrant Workers and the Manila International Airport Authority.

“The Commission recognizes this initiative because it serves an evident drive to advocate for and protect the rights of our migrant workers, particularly on airport grounds. Amidst the noise and crowd, airports bear silent witness to our OFWs’ tears as they bid farewell to their loved ones. The establishment of a lounge for them is a simple yet meaningful gesture that reflects our gratitude for their perseverance and sacrifices as the country’s modern-day heroes,” the CHR said.

It acknowledged the government’s efforts, particularly those of the relevant agencies, to provide adequate space for OFWs inside the airports reflecting shared goal of maintaining the OFWs’ dignity and well-being, as well as their right to decent treatment and comfort while traveling.

“CHR believes that by taking such thoughtful and incentive-based approach, we are paving the way for more meaningful and positive engagement among our OFWs,” the CHR said.

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