DOLE, DMW sign joint circular on transition of several labor agencies
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) on Thursday signed a joint circular defining the roles of both agencies and listing the now-consolidated labor-attached agencies to the latter department.
According to Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma during a press conference in Quezon City, the joint circular provides for the smooth transition of at least six labor agencies from DOLE to DMW, “effectively charting the path for the latter’s evolution into a full-fledged department of government.”
The following labor-attached agencies have officially transitioned under the DMW with the release of the circular.
- Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA)
- Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs)
- International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB)
- National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO)
- Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)
- National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP)
Laguesma dismissed speculations of railroading amid the transfer of the said agencies from DOLE to DMW.
“There’s nothing illegal in the transition. We are just ramping up efforts to make DMW operational as early as possible,” Laguesma said.
He explained that the said circular is only one of the measures taken by the two agencies to advance the complete establishment of DMW.
“By focusing on our mandate, DOLE will be rendering faster and quality service to our workers in the country,” he said.
“In the same manner, DMW will be working exclusively for our OFWs, meaning their time and effort would center on the Filipino migrant workers, which is an efficient way of serving our modern-day heroes,” he added.
Laguesma assured the public that the DMW would be fully operational by 2023.
Initially, under Republic Act 11641, which officially created the said department, the transition would be carried out in a maximum of two years.
However, according to Laguesma, the period ran counter to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s goal to deliver faster service to Filipino migrant workers.
“Masyadong matagal ang dalawang taon (two years is too long). Why wait that long when we can complete the transition earlier for the benefit of our beloved OFWs?” Laguesma explained.
Under the newly released circular, DMW Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople shall now exercise primary administrative control and supervision over the POEA, POLOs, ILAB, and NRCO, and administrative supervision over the NMP and the OWWA.
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