The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) appealed to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and Marina ( Maritime Industry Authority) to expand their services to Bohol amid the longstanding public clamor for the agencies to open extensions office in the province.
The SP made the appeal through two separate resolutions sponsored by Board Member Ricky Masamayor and were passed during the legislative body’s session on Tuesday.
According to Masamayor, more people are clamoring for the DFA to establish an office in the province to do away with having to travel to Cebu for transactions with the department.
The Marina has an office in the province but has not been operating at full capacity.
He said that there is also more need for the extension offices amid travel restrictions imposed due to the persisting pandemic.
“Kaning panahon sa pandemic lisod moadto pa sa Cebu, moadto pa sa Manila. Dapat naa silay opisina diri na functional g’yud…Mo linya pa ta og sayo didto, mangadlawn lisod na,” he said.
The provincial legislator noted that the neighboring province of Negros Occidental has its own DFA consular office even if it has lesser number of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) compared with Bohol.
“Ang atong OFWs dinhi sa Bohol anaa sa 50,000, ang ila sa Negros naa sa mga 27,000. Halos katunga ra tapos naa silay DFA didto, unya kita diri wala,” Masamayor said.
“Hayahay sila didto kay di na motabok sa Cebu,” he added.
Masamayor suggested for the department to hire at least three regular employees to man the office while the province will provide casual workers to augment its workforce.
The previous SP had already made the same request but this was not granted by the department. (R. Tutas)