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7月15日のまにら新聞から

Department of Migrant Workers operational in 2023: Laguesma

[ 429 words|2022.7.15|英字 (English) ]

The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) -- the newly-created state agency tasked to champion the welfare of the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) -- will be fully operational in 2023.

Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma made the assurance during a press conference in Quezon City where a joint circular by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the DMW was unveiled.

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 agencies referred to are the 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) and the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP).

Under Republic Act 11641 -- the law that created the DMW -- the transition would be carried out in a maximum of two years.

However, Laguesma found the stipulated period too long which runs counter to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s goal to deliver faster service to Filipino migrant workers.

"Masyadong matagal ang dalawang taon. Why wait that long when we can complete the transition earlier for the benefit of our beloved OFWs," Laguesma explained.

The Labor chief dismissed speculations of 'railroading' in the transfer of the DOLE attached agencies 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 said the joint circular introduced yesterday -- the first made by DOLE and DMW -- is just one of the measures taken by the two agencies to advance the complete establishment of DMW.

While it's true that the transition will relieve DOLE of OFW-related tasks, it will help the department focus on its job to handle local employment.

"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 vowed all out support to DMW Secretary Susan 'Toots' Ople, saying the two of them "have a long professional and personal relationship together."

"She has my full backing as she nurtures the development of DMW," he added.

Signed by Laguesma and Ople, the joint circular demonstrates the government's commitment to promote synergy among state agencies with the goal of providing a brighter future for Filipino workers.DOLE Information and Publication Service