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DMW TO BETTER ADDRESS OFW CONCERNS – NOGRALES

“Republic Act No. 11641 which creates the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) is a priority legislative measure of the Duterte administration which fully recognizes the sacrifices made by our modern-day heroes, our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). The President signed it into law last December 30, 2021 to better address the needs and concerns of our Filipino workers abroad.”

This was the statement made by Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles during the recently-held virtual conference organized by the Alliance of Bonafide Recruiters for OFWs’ Advancement and Development (ABROAD).

“We fully expect to give our OFWs quicker and better service under the new setup. We will strengthen the protective mechanisms for Filipino migrant workers and minimize their vulnerabilities.” 

The newly-created DMW will serve as the lead department in formulating policies, plans and programs ensuring the protection of OFWs’ welfare. It shall also focus, among others, on the social aspect of reintegration of OFWs with their locally-based families, Nograles said.

The Department streamlines the operations of seven agencies which include the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) under the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Office of the Social Welfare Attache (OSWA) under the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO),   International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB) and the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) currently supervised by the DOLE.

“We combined their operations to streamline delivery of services and unify policies under the DMW,” explained the acting Presidential Spokesperson.

The Malacanang official further clarified that the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) will continue to operate under its charter, but should closely coordinate with the DMW for proper program implementation.

The DMW is expected to formally start operations in 2023.

There would also be a Migrant Workers Office (MWO) to be placed under each Philippine Foreign Service Post. The MWO will function as the operating arm of the new Department. It assumes the powers and personnel of POLO and OSWA as well as the functions of the Assistance to Nationals (ATN) units of Foreign Service Posts in relation to OFW matters.

“We fully expect to give our OFWs quicker and better service under the new setup. We will strengthen the protective mechanisms for Filipino migrant workers and minimize their vulnerabilities.” 

The Cabinet Secretary added: “We created the Agarang Kalinga at Saklolo para sa mga OFW na Nangangailangan (AKSYON) Fund to cover legal and other assistance costs to needy OFWs, with services including repatriation, shipment of remains, evacuation, rescue and any other analogous help and interventions for foreign-based Pinoy workers.”

The DMW is expected to formally start operations in 2023. The two-year transition from the law’s effectivity shall be managed by a committee tasked to formulate its implementing rules and regulations (IRR), organizational structure and staffing pattern. The transition group shall also submit a proposed budget for the 2023 fiscal year.

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