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Solon urges PCOO Asec to resign for ‘peddling fake news, incompetence’

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ACTS-OFW Rep. Aniceto Bertiz III has called for the resignation of Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Assistant Secretary Kristian Ablan “for peddling fake news and incompetence.”

“In Wednesday’s second pre-SONA forum, Mr. Ablan maliciously if not ineptly distorted my previous remarks at the first pre-SONA forum. Mr. Ablan’s misrepresentation in the subsequent forum, which I did not attend, then gave Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello the excuse to attack me – to malign my name and character,” Bertiz said in a statement.

“The least Mr. Ablan can do is apologize for his irresponsible acts or better yet resign from his post,” he added.

Bertiz explained that during the first pre-SONA forum, he urged the Department of Labor and Employment to draw up new strategies and programs to uplift the conditions of the 7,000 Filipinos leaving the country every day for jobs abroad, especially the 250,000 domestic workers departing annually.

The politiko said the overseas Filipino worker (OFW) ID card that Bello claims as his No.1 achievement “is absolutely useless and does not even exist.”

“Secretary Bello claims that the OFW ID card has great value as a substitute for the overseas employment certificate (OEC). But actually, it is just an ordinary ID card that no machine whatsoever can read. Pampakapal lang ng wallet ng OFW ‘yan,” Bertiz said.

“We challenge Secretary Bello to join us at the NAIA. Let us count together the number of departing OFWs actually carrying the useless ID card that the Secretary claims is his No. 1 achievement,” he added.

He also lamented that “not all distressed and repatriated OFWs are getting financial assistance.”

“Kokonti lang sa kanila ang nakatatanggap actually. Hindi lahat at wala pang kalahati ang nabibigyan ng financial aid,” he said.

He noted that the problem may be due to lack of Overseas Workers Welfare Administration funds or “due to having the wrong priorities, or the misuse of funds.”

“This is why we are prodding the DOLE to find new and meaningful ways to help our OFWs, particularly the domestic workers, and their families here,” he said.