Senator Christopher “Bong” Go is pushing for the passage of a measure seeking to create an executive department focused on addressing concerns of migrant workers following the recent repatriation of undocumented overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) victimized by illegal recruiters from the Middle East.
According to a statement on Friday, Go assured that a technical working group has been created to finalize the bill on the Department of OFWs (DOFW), which he expects to be approved before the year ends.
“Ingat po sa mga illegal recruiters. Huwag kaagad sumakay sa mga offers na alanganin. That’s why I’m pushing for the Department of OFWs, not only para sa documented na Pilipino na nasa abroad pero para sa mga undocumented (Beware of illegal recruiters. Don’t immediately accept sketchy offers. That’s why I’m pushing for the DOFW, not only for documented overseas Filipinos but also for those undocumented),” Go said.
“Kawawa sila. Hindi sila makauwi. Kung merong departamento na tututok sa ganito, ito na po ang lalapitan nila (They’re pitiful. They cannot go home. If there is a separate department focused on this issue, they would surely seek its help),” Go said.
Go filed Senate Bill 202, which seeks to address concerns of overseas Filipinos, such as the need to improve coordination among concerned offices in responding to the needs, particularly of OFWs.
The bill proposes that the following agencies and their powers and functions, funds and appropriations, records, equipment, property, and personnel will be transferred to the new department to be established: Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Commission on Filipino Overseas, International Labor Affairs Bureau of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and National Reintegration Center for OFWs.
The bill also states that the powers and functions of the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs under the Department of Foreign Affairs and all Philippine Overseas Labor Offices and their officials under DOLE will also be transferred to the new department. (PNA)