Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on the establishment of a 24/7 VIP lounge for OFWs at NAIA

Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on the establishment of a 24/7 VIP lounge for OFWs at NAIA

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) lauds the successful completion of the project that officially inaugurated a 24/7 free very important person (VIP) lounge dedicated to our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1. This initiative stands as a testament to our commitment to providing a comfortable and supportive space for the well-being and relaxation of our hardworking OFWs.

As stated in reports, the lounge would be the first of many OFW lounges to open at international airports in Metro Manila, Clark, and Cebu. The lounge provided a variety of food and beverage options, as well as comfortable chairs, Wi-Fi, and charging stations for OFWs waiting for their flights.

Republic Act (RA) No. 8042, also known as the “Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 states that the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) shall continue to formulate and implement welfare programs for overseas Filipino workers and their families in all phases of overseas employment – encompassing pre-departure, on-site, and reintegration programs of OFWs.

The Commission recognizes this initiative because it serves an evident drive to advocate for and protect the rights of our migrant workers, particularly on airport grounds. Amidst the noise and crowd, airports bear silent witness to our OFWs’ tears as they bid farewell to their loved ones. The establishment of a lounge for them is a simple yet meaningful gesture that reflects our gratitude for their perseverance and sacrifices as the country’s modern-day heroes.

In line with this, we acknowledge the government’s efforts, particularly those of the relevant agencies, to provide adequate space for our OFWs inside our airports. This measure reflects our shared goal of maintaining our OFWs’ dignity and well-being, as well as their right to decent treatment and comfort while traveling.

CHR believes that by taking this thoughtful and incentive-based approach, we are paving the way for more meaningful and positive engagement among our OFWs.###