November 8, 2013 was that dreadful day when certain parts of the Philippine Islands particularly the region of Eastern Visayas was ravaged by super typhoon Haiyan (also known as “Yolanda”). Thousands of people perished and millions of families have been affected, majority of them were left with nothing, no more livelihood in fact, except for few pieces picked up after the typhoon and donated by generous individuals and other organizations.
It has been 5 months since, and the victims are still struggling to cope with the consequences of the deluge, with the grief and its psychological and economic impact on their lives. Some of the victims have family members and relatives abroad working hard so as help them deal with their day-to-day living. While there are Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who are fortunate to land in white collar jobs that pay hefty sums, there are some OFWs who are sacrificing and bearing the brunt of hardship just to give a decent living for folks back home. With the unfortunate situation after the typhoon, these workers will even have to doubly or even triply work hard to help their loved ones rebuild their lives.
The OFWs, regardless of their legal status (i.e., whether documented or not), have been a saving grace to the Philippines by assisting its Government stimulate the economy. The hard-earned dollar remittances being injected into the financial system provide a boost to the country’s economic development.
In view of the onslaught of the super typhoon and the miserable situation of the victims, the OFWs in the U.S. represented by individual groups, advocacy and non-profit organizations have vigorously campaigned asking the Philippine Government to request from the U.S. Government the so-called “Temporary Protected Status” or the TPS . Basically, the TPS serves as the legal basis for foreign nationals to stay in the U.S.( when their home countries’ condition temporarily prevent them from returning safely, or where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals sufficiently) and allow them to receive employment authorization and even the permission to leave and re-enter the U.S. Should TPS be designated to the Philippine Government, approximately 600,000 Filipinos (both non-immigrants and undocumented) could be given such rare opportunity, not just on temporary but could be on permanent basis, thus achieving their “American Dream” someday!
As of to date, the said request for TPS is now with the Department of Homeland Security for review and consideration. The State Department upon the recommendation of the Philippine Government has already endorsed the matter to them.
A SHOUT OUT FOR THE TPS!