Governor Arthur R. Defensor, Jr. signed Executive Order establishing the Bulig Ilonggo Migrants Desk under Public Employment Service Office and creating the Provincial Migration and Development Committee, strengthening the province’s programs and services for Ilonggo OFWs and their families.

The help desk shall be linked to the database of all concerned government agencies, particularly the Department of Migrant Workers (formerly POEA) for its updated lists of overseas job orders and licensed recruitment agencies in good standing.

It will also create linkage with OWWA and DFA and other relevant emergency-responsive agencies for assistance to OFs in distress and their families, particularly in times of crises that merit rescue, evacuation, repatriation, and psychosocial interventions.

Overseas Filipinos (OFs) from Western Visayas remit almost P26.8 billion pesos, of which, more than P14B pesos is shared by the Province of Iloilo.

Recognizing that the remittances of the Migrants and OFWs bring significant financial and economic impact not only to their families but to the entire economy of the Province of Iloilo, Bulig Ilonggo, lodged under the PESO, is one way of giving back to Ilonggo OFWs.

Over the years, the migration and development initiative of the Province of Iloilo has launched activities and interventions such as organizing of migrants groups, case intakes and referrals of OFWs in distress, provision of livelihood training and equipment, financial literacy training, and reintegration fora and other technical assistance to various local government units, non-government organizations, and national government agencies.

The Executive Order of the Governor is seen to continue and ensure effective and efficient implementation of the program and proper coordination between and among stakeholders, and overall success of its strategic activities. (Jayrel J. Encontro)