House stalwarts push for creation of dep’t for OFWs, foreign recruitment |

House stalwarts push for creation of dep’t for OFWs, foreign recruitment

/ 02:13 PM July 31, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The idea to create a government department that will solely tackle issues concerning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) is moving at the House of Representatives.

No less than Speaker and Taguig 1st District Rep. Alan Cayetano, his wife Taguig 2nd District Rep. Ma. Laarni Cayetano, and presidential son Davao 1st District Rep. Paolo Duterte have co-authored House Bill No. 2, which was filed at the lower chamber last July 29.

HB No. 2 seeks to create the Department of OFWs and Foreign Employment and ensure that the agency would “manage, harmonize and strengthen existing policies and programs on migration.”


The three pro-administration legislators believe that the creation of such a government would provide an integrated and more comprehensive approach to address the problems and concerns of OFWs as well as their families.  


Currently, there are five major agencies that have mandates relative to overseas employment and overseas Filipinos concerns. These are the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), and the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs (OUMWA) of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). 

“The absence of a single agency to address foreign employment concerns has made it difficult for the government to focus on the needs and demands of migration in general and of OFWs in particular,” Cayetano said in a statement on Wednesday.

The ex-DFA Secretary also said the bill proposes to provide P5 billion to address the needs of regular and irregular OFWs in distress, and those OFWs returning to the Philippines. 

Under the proposed law, the Secretary of the Department of OFW and Foreign Employment shall be assisted by six undersecretaries who would handle the following areas: Administration and Finance, Foreign Employment, Reintegration and Social Services, Overseas Filipinos, Assistance to Overseas Filipinos in Distress, International Labor Affairs.    

An Emergency Response and Action Center Unit will also be created to operate a 24/7 call center as well as media and social media monitoring center to respond to the emergency needs of Filipinos abroad, OFWs and their families wherever they may be. 

To further expand the support mechanisms for OFW families, OFW assistance centers dubbed as “OFW Malasakit Centers” will also be created in all provinces and major cities, according to Cayetano.


The House leader hopes that if the measure is passed, the Philippines “can better fulfill the objectives of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), which is an inter-governmentally negotiated agreement aimed to promote the rights of migrant workers.”

HB No. 2 is among the legislative agenda of the Duterte administration. 

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TAGS: House of Representatives, Legislation, Local news, Nation, national news, News, OFWs, Philippine news updates, Philippines

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