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Understanding the OFWs Retirement System Act

Posted by Regine Louise Mendoza on September 14, 2023

In recent developments, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has thrown its support behind crucial measures aimed at establishing robust retirement systems for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). House Bill (HB) Nos. 00176 and 8574 have taken center stage as promising steps towards securing the social welfare of OFWs in the years to come.

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A Glimpse into the Bills

two person discussing a file.

HB No. 00176: “Overseas Filipino Workers Retirement System Act”

Spearheaded by Sagip party-list Representatives, HB No. 00176, also known as the OFWs Retirement System Act seeks to create a comprehensive retirement framework for OFWs. Furthermore, this groundbreaking bill proposes a package of benefits, including retirement benefits, dependent’s pension, voluntary separation benefits, and a dedicated retirement fund designed to underpin these financial provisions.

HB No. 8574: “Kabayan OFW Pension Act”

a couple in the airport.

In parallel, a Kabayan party-list Representative presents HB No. 8574, known as the “Kabayan OFW Pension Act.” This legislation places emphasis on ensuring the comprehensive protection of OFWs and their dependents against a spectrum of risks, including those associated with old age, disability, sickness, death, unemployment, and other unforeseen contingencies.

A Human Rights Perspective

Lady justice

CHR underscores that these proposed bills, HB 00176 and HB 8574, align with the government’s obligation to safeguard the people’s right to social security. Moreover, this move signifies a momentous shift towards recognizing OFWs as modern-day heroes and acknowledging their invaluable contributions to the nation.

The Challenges Faced by OFWs

OFW workers in a foreign factory.

It is crucial to recognize that OFWs encounter an array of challenges and vulnerabilities while working far from their homeland and loved ones. Post-employment uncertainties, such as improper compensations and sudden job loss, loom over them, all while they continue to support their families back home.

International Obligations


CHR underscores that social security is an inherent human right, as stipulated in Article 9 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. The commission also draws attention to General Comment 19 of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, which highlights the principles of social security:

  • Addressing relevant impacts on livelihood
  • Anticipating and covering social risks and contingencies, including old age, unemployment, sickness, family, and child support, among others
  • Providing adequate coverage in terms of both amount and duration
  • Ensuring accessibility, especially for disadvantaged and marginalized groups, without discrimination

CHR further reminds the Philippines of its obligation as a state party to promote and protect the right to social security.

In conclusion, the backing of HB Nos. 00176 and 8574, or the OFWs Retirement System Act, by the Commission on Human Rights signals a progressive stride towards recognizing the pivotal role of OFWs and securing their future. As the government takes these critical steps, it not only fulfills its international obligations but also stands in solidarity with the tireless heroes who work overseas to support their families and contribute to the nation’s prosperity.

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  • Regine is a writer for Golden Haven Memorial Parks, Inc. With a passion for story-telling and helping others, she brings a unique perspective and warm voice to Golden Haven's blog. When she's not writing, you can find her in the kitchen whipping up something delicious or outside exploring the great outdoors.

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