Multilingual OFW handbook proposed

APPLICANTS for overseas jobs at the POEA.

A party-list author of the newly-signed law mandating the publication of a handbook for Overseas Filipino Workers suggested to its implementors that the manual be published in English, Filipino, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon, Kapampangan, Bicolano, Waray and Arabic.

Senior Citizen Party-List Rep. Francisco Gamboa Datol, Jr also said, “there should be print, pdf, online, Braille, and audio formats of the OFWs Handbook.”

“The book format should have a large font version for easier reading of senior citizens and other people with vision problems,” Datol added

“Publishing of the OFW Handbook in the major languages used by Filipinos and in paper, electronic, web, and persons with disabilities (PWD) formats will ensure that the publication can reach all the documented and undocumented OFWs around the world, as well as the families here at home,” Datol said.

The congressman said the implementing rules and regulations of the new law can provide for these language versions and publishing formats.

He explained that the versions and formats “need not all be simultaneously rolled out.”

“The English, Filipino, print, online and electronic pdf variants can be done first because these would be the easiest to publish. Those other iterations can be rolled out in one to two years afterwards,” Datol said.

“The format which can be distributed fast and most portable is the electronic pdf kind because it can be forwarded using smartphones. The website version is next easiest to access especially if internet connection is good. A traditional book format would be bulky, entails shipping cost, and would be the most expensive of all the formats,” he said.

Datol said the Braille and audio formats would be needed by persons with disability among the OFW dependents.