Senator Bong Go is pushing for the passage of a measure which seeks to create an executive department focused on addressing the concerns of migrant workers following the recent repatriation from the Middle East of undocumented overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) victimized by illegal recruiters.
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.
“Beware of illegal recruiters. Don’t immediately accept sketchy offers.”
“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],” the legislator said.
“They’re pitiful. They cannot go home.”
“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],” the lawmaker 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 Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Commission on Filipino Overseas, the International Labor Affairs Bureau of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the National Reintegration Center for OFWs transfer their powers and functions, funds and appropriations, records, equipment, property, and personnel to the DOFW.
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.