Gulf crisis: de Lima exhorts government to plan for OFWs. Assessment necessary in advance. Crisis management steps should be in place.

de Lima directs.

pics: getty and gulfnews

pics: getty and gulfnews


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Sen. Leila de Lima seems to be concerned with all the activities and responsibilities of the Duterte administration. What agenda she is pursuing is a mystery to one and all.

The crisis in the gulf region arose due to Saudi Arabia and other regional countries breaking diplomatic relations with Qatar. The reason is the open support rendered by Oman to the more violent terror groups.

Furthermore, Al Jazeera channel is also implicated in supporting the terror networks.

Now, the Senator is advising the Duterte administration to anticipate and prepare in advance for the outcome of the Qatar crisis. She urged the government through Senate Resolution No. 406 to be prepared in advance.

The emphasis of her resolution concerns the fate of the Offshore Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Qatar. Therefore, de Lima urged the Duterte administration to assess its state of readiness with regards to the situation as it develops.

Furthermore, the situation assumes vital importance if the OFWs are sought to be repatriated. If seen from another angle, de Lima’s question is quite possibly borne out of a genuine concern for her compatriots.

Consequently, her query to the elected representatives would be in the fitness of things. Thus, we should examine the state of preparedness before actually facing it. That would allow the concerned departments to assess and plan your reactions to the likely possibilities.

The Senator explained that the following departments need to gear up after exploring the probable hurdles:
• The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
• The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA),
• The embassies and consulates abroad.

The OFWs may suddenly experience problems if the diplomatic crisis worsens and they face difficulties. If proper brainstorming has been done, the response can be effective.

Experts opine that more than 250,000 OFWs might need assistance promptly on a war footing. The safety of OFWs and their families might be at stake if things take a turn for the worst.

The government agencies concerned had not yet announced any reactions to the Qatar crisis. They are the ones who should be prepared to tackle the situation as it emerges, de Lima said. But, the plans should be ready in advance.
Economists forecast serious economic and political implications for various ethnic groups. Senator de Lima quoted authoritative sources to predict serious turmoil for OFWs.

In addition, she wanted DOLE and DFA to ensure that, if displaced, sufficient employment opportunities exist for the OFWs. While this may be difficult to fulfill wholly, an assessment would arm the administration with the proper course of action.

Moreover, a sense of urgency is necessary since the situation may get out of hand, if they don’t adopt adequate timely steps.

This requires assessments in advance, de Lima said. It includes:
• Making assessments,
• Preparation of contingency measures,
• Planning logistics of possible repatriation and reintegration of OFWs.

She also expressed the hope that the situation does not reach the level of a crisis.

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Umrao Singh
Written for: Lars-Magnus Carlsson.
Sunday, June 25, 2017