MANILA, Philippines — Senator Joel Villanueva called for the provision of quick civil registration services to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) amid reports that many do not have easy access to their records.

Villanueva’s appeal came as the country observes Migrant Workers’ Day on Friday, and after filing on May 2 Senate Resolution No. 1019 that seeks to direct the appropriate committees to investigate the OFWs’ alleged lack of access to government services particularly in the correction of their civil registry records in Philippine embassies.

In a statement, Villanueva his resolution was a result of consultations with OFWs during his working visit to Hong Kong last March.

“Bringing government services closer and making them more accessible to our new heroes is our gift in return for their contribution to the country’s economic development,” he said in Filipino.

“As we celebrate Migrant Workers’ Day this June 7th, it is high time that we make this process more accessible to our new heroes,” he added.

Villanueva, who chairs the Senate committee on labor, employment, and human resources development, cited Republic Act No. 9048, or the Act Authorizing the City or Municipal Registrar or the Consul General to fix a clerical or typographical error in an entry and/or change of first name in the civil register without need of a judicial order.

However, the senator noted of reports that some OFWs are being asked to return to the Philippines just to have their records corrected.

He pointed out that only 37 percent of OFWs receive paid vacation leaves, based on the December 2021 paper of the Philippine Institute of Development Studies.

“This makes it improbable for OFWs to use their scarce time with family and friends in their homeland solely to rectify their civil registration records with local civil registrars,” Villanueva said, stressing that the process for administrative correction of civil registry entries is time-consuming.

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