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The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines–Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant Peoples’ (CBCP-ECMI) said it is also looking after displaced overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in coordination with the government.

Bataan Bishop Ruperto Santos, CBCP-ECMI vice chair, said they are coordinating with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) in assisting OFWs.

“CBCP-ECMI is always coordinating with OWWA (Overseas Workers with the plight of our OFWs, interceding for assistance and is helping. As I was informed by Father Resty Ogsimer, executive secretary of our CBCP-ECMI, there is referral on their behalf from Caritas Manila and cash vouchers of PHP1,000 with bags of groceries are being distributed to them. ECMI houses stranded seafarers, attending to their needs and possible homecoming to their residency here in the country,” Santos said in a text message.

Aside from assisting the OFWs, he added that they are also helping front-liners.

“A long-term project of cash voucher of PHP4,900 per family is being arranged. Some Filipino chaplaincies especially in Japan, Taiwan are raising money as monetary assistance for our front-liners,” he said.

He added that they working with dioceses to adopt a 'study now, pay later' program, aside from scholarship grants, for OFWs whose children are studying in their diocesan schools.

He also reported that they are have opened their facilities to be used as medical areas.

“Speaking for my Diocese. I have opened our College Seminary, Virgen Milagrosa del Rosario as halfway house, quarantine facility for the healthcare workers of the provincial Bataan General Hospital (BGH); and our Residencia Sacerdotal clubhouse and dormitories for their children patients undergoing chemotherapy, since BGH becomes exclusively for Covid19 patients (suspects or not),” he said.

He said parishes under the Diocese of Bataan provide monetary and material assistance to aetas and OFWs.

"Our monetary help is from our two to three months allowances which we, the priests of the Diocese, forego for our personnel and people,” the Catholic bishop added.


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