Rep. Marissa Magsino of the OFW party-list group has expressed gratitude to the administration for putting up the recently inaugurated OFW Lounge at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1, calling it the “legacy of the President.”
Magsino visited the lounge where her group donated four units of high-grade plasma air purifiers to improve its indoor air quality. The party-list also provided home-cooked meals to the overseas Filipino workers in appreciation of their hard work and dedication before their departure for their assignments abroad.
The lounge, which officially opened its doors on Jan. 16, is a collaborative effort among the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) of the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) under the Department of Transportation (DOTr), OFW party-list, and the House of Representatives headed by Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez.
“We are glad that a daily average of 1,000 Overseas Filipino Workers are able to use the OFW Lounge and are being served with free food and drinks, essential amenities, Wi-Fi connectivity, charging docks, power outlets, and a paging system,” Magsino said.
“It was a dream turned into reality as the OFW Party List worked closely with OWWA, DMW, MIAA, and DOTr from September 2023 to January 2024 on the preparations for and renovations on the OFW Lounges in NAIA Terminals 1 and 3,” she added, as she thanked the officials of government agencies concerned for their effort to provide a decent space for the OFWs at the airport.
Magsino visited the lounge together with officials led by OWWA Administrator Arnaldo Ignacio, Deputy Administrator Honey Quiño, DMW Undersecretary Patricia Yvonne Caunan, MIAA General Manager Eric Jose Ines, MIAA Assistant General Manager Raffy Regular, and NAIA 1 Terminal Manager Arnel Atis.
The DOTr through MIAA has also designated a 270-square meter OFW lounge in NAIA Terminal 3, which is currently being renovated by OWWA and DMW.
The Speaker earlier said the use by OFWs of their VIP lounge is free of charge regardless of what type of air tickets (domestic or international) they are holding.
The lounge is patterned after similar spaces run by airlines but only for their business-class and first-class passengers, who are paying twice or thrice or more than economy-class riders, Romualdez added.
OFWs would enjoy the amenities of an airline lounge like an assistance desk; comfortable seating; wi-fi, charging stations, and power outlets; and food, including porridge, sandwiches, biscuits, pastries, and eggs; and drinks like water, coffee, and juice.
“We want to show our deep gratitude and appreciation for our overseas workers for continuing to help our country grow its economy and help their families through their remittances. Making their departure as comfortable as it can be and easing their loneliness is the least we can do for them. We want them to take care of themselves for our country and their families,” the Speaker said.