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First Quarter 2000

Remembering
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OFW 2000:
TEARJERKERS AND THE LIGHTER SIDE
(The Fight Is Not Yet Over)

On the lighter side and in perfect consonance with the Foundation's objective of utilizing the power of media and entertainment in promoting the welfare and well-being of OFWs, PWEFI intends to do the following:

* Urge producers of TV drama anthologies (such as "Maalaala Mo Kaya") to focus more on storylines dealing with OFWs' lives, and producers of talk shows to tackle more OFW issues during the special year.

* Ask the leading broadsheets (Inquirer, Philippine Star, The Manila Bulletin, etc.) to come up with an OFW page at least once a month.

* Ask the Metro Manila Film Festival Committee to include 'OFW theme' in their criteria for the December 2000 festival.

And as a first step in striving to have the modern-day heroes recognized and honored - immortalized, if you will - PWEFI has written Postmaster General, Nicasio Rodriguez, petitioning for the issuance of a special OFW stamp. The Foundation also proposed that, should this request be approved, a stamp design competition be organized by PWEFI.

Finally, PWEFI wrote Jaime Cardinal Sin to explore the possibility of issuing a pastoral letter about the plight of OFWs. The suggestion was for the letter to be read during a Sunday mass (supposedly sometime in December). Likewise, as it is our belief that even deceased OFWs deserve to be part of the celebration of OFW Year, it was suggested further that – with the help (again) of fellow OFWs – we collect as many names of deceased OFWs as we could. The list of names is to be submitted to the appropriate entity which, in turn, will distribute the list to all churches nationwide so that masses and/or prayers could be offered for the deceased OFWs during the entire month of December. His Eminence referred the matter to Bishop Arguelles of the Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrant Workers and Itinerant People under the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). This will also be pursued with vigor. The Flor Contemplacions of this world must not be buried into oblivion, even they should be a part of the OFW Year celebrations.

We can even request The Filipino Channel to prepare an interstitial for All Saints Day wherein they could flash pictures of the deceased OFWs (and their names) while prayer is being delivered, asking the viewers to light candles and to pray. This is similar in concept to TFC's "Bandila at Kandila: Lighting of the Centennial Candles Ceremony" in 1998 (which was, likewise, suggested by the Foundation).

So you see, we can do so much to improve the lot of OFWs even without the specially declared year. But just think how much more we could achieve and how easier it would be for us to push government into action if we were all to be inspired by an "OFW Year."

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