Church prefers more domestic employment

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Roman Catholic Church here is advocating for more domestic employment to improve the quality of life of Kapampangans and lessen the social cost of migration.

Archbishop Paciano "Apu Ceto" Aniceto made this statement during the press conference of the Pampanga Archdiocesan Migrants Desk (PAMD), now on its 10th anniversary celebration. This is in line with the celebration of the National Migrant’s Sunday (NMS) recently. The NMS is a special event that recognizes the sacrifices and heroism of overseas Filipino workers.

Aniceto said the Church tolerates but does not promote working abroad because of its adverse effects on the life of couples and their children.


He said they acknowledge the contributions of working abroad on the country’s economy through foreign remittances. But the Church said that this should also be balanced with the disadvantages and threats on the quality of relationships in the family.

“Working abroad is not the only panacea to the financial problem. People should not think of living in luxury but on maintaining harmony in the family,” Aniceto said.

The Archbishop explained the social cost of migration to Filipino and Christian values has an adverse effect on children and how they grow without paternal and maternal guidance.

“They may live with so much money but their values and future is at stake. Many couples cannot endure long distance relationships leaving the family broken,” the Archbishop added.

"The truth is, we are not really poor. Malaking tulong ang naipapasok ng mga OFW na pera sa ating bansa. Kung matitigil lang ang corruption, masosolusyonan natin ang kahirapan dito sa atin," said Aniceto.

Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines- Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (CBCP-ECMI) coordinator Edmund Ruga said family values are unstable for most OFWs.

“The Church advocates for domestic opportunities rather than overseas. We urge government to fast track economic development that would facilitate more local employment,” Ruga said.

PAMD director Fr. Arny Serrano said “migration cannot be prevented but its social cost can be reduced, that is why we are giving pastoral care to OFWs and their families.”

“PAMD conducts counseling for OFWs and their families to keep them intact. We educate and guide their children to understand the situation of their family,” he said. (with Kristine Venet Q. Andal)

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on March 13, 2014.

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