THE HAGUE, The Netherlands — Vice President Jejomar Binay met with Filipino migrants here last week and urged those undocumented to work on getting documented for their own good.
Binay, the presidential adviser on OFW concerns, shared this advice during his meeting with top leaders of non-government organizations here last week, and during a lecture at the Institute of Social Studies.
The meetings were part of his travel to the Netherlands to represent the Philippines to the National Security Summit.
“The government faces a big problem with undocumented migrants. Being undocumented means that the government does not know that the migrant is in a certain country. If something happens to them, how can we help them?” said Binay.
He added that it is not only easier for the government to reach out to a migrant when he/she is documented, being so also lessens the stress on a migrant’s family.
He cited the current situation in Syria where the government is having a hard time contacting undocumented Filipinos. He said even if the government wants to repatriate them, it is not possible as the government does not know where they are.
He called on Filipinos who want to work abroad to go through official channels and avoid illegal recruiters so that they can properly prepare for their trip abroad.
He noted that documented Filipinos undergo the needed seminars and workshops before leaving the country, making them psychologically prepared for a new culture.
“All those who are documented get the right support like seminars before they leave our country,” Binay said. “This prepares them emotionally and psychologically. It lessens the possibility of culture shock.”
He said those undocumented “usually enter a country with a tourist visa and just stay longer and take on jobs, most often illegally.”
“It is very stressful for someone who is new to a country to just figure out how to find a job when he’s already in that country. This leads to unnecessary stress which is only one of the things we are trying to avoid here,” added Binay.
The Netherlands is home to about 18,000 Filipinos. #