The proposed new department for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) will provide a complete package of services for the country’s modern-day heroes, a labor official said Wednesday.
“We believe in the concept of bundling of services, to underscore the needs of OFWs, our modern-day heroes to be provided services in one structure where they will be provided assistance, benefits, protection, and care,” Labor Undersecretary Joji Aragon said in a Laging Handa briefing.
Aragon added that the agency will further protect and enhance the welfare of Filipinos working abroad.
“We support the principle, spirit, and intent of this measure together with DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) Secretary Silvestre Bello III, we are for the stand up of Department of OFWs. Therefore, this Department of OFWs is really envisioned to make our services and programs more effective and more efficient,” she added.
Citing the House of Representatives’ passage of the measure, Aragon expressed hope that the Senate will follow suit once it completes consultation with various stakeholders.
“So the bottom line of this is we really look forward to a Department of OFWs that will be of better service to our OFW brothers and sisters,” she added.
Under House Bill 5832, the department will be headed by a Secretary along with five undersecretaries. It will have several functions – administration and finance, foreign employment, diaspora engagements and special concerns, assistance to Filipinos overseas in distress, and policy agreements.
The agency will also gain control of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs of the Foreign Affairs Department, and all Philippine Overseas Labor Offices under the DOLE, among others.
It will also supervise the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration as its attached agency and will also absorb all employees from these offices.
Source: Philippines News Agency