By Joseph Pedrajas | Manila Bulletin
Presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Friday, Dec. 31, hailed the passage of the law creating a department dedicated for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), which is President Duterte’s “love letter” for the migrant workers.
Marcos Jr. said “after four decades of overseas employment, our modern-day heroes will now have their own home in the bureaucracy” that came after both the House of Representatives and the Senate passed Republic Act 11641 or An Act Creating the Department of Migrant Workers which was then signed by President Duterte.
For Marcos Jr., the new law will finally address appropriate the problems being faced by OFWs “for many years.”
“This new department serves as President Duterte’s institutional love letter to OFWs around the world and their families here at home,” he said.
He urged the government to ensure that a fully operational and functioning department would be ready early next year “for the expected increase in deployment of migrant workers abroad amid threats of COVID-19.
The Department of Migrant Workers Act aims to create a new government body to protect the rights of OFWs. It will turn the existing Philippine Overseas Employment Administration into the Department of Migrant Workers. Its task will now be to oversee all policies aimed at protecting the welfare of OFWs.
The new department is also mandated to regulate the recruitment, employment and deployment of OFWs, lead investigations and file cases related to illegal recruitment and human trafficking of OFWs.
Meanwhile, Marcos said the government should continue improving local jobs creation to meet foreign employers’ demand for skilled Filipinos.
“Though our economic policy must remain focused on local job generation, we cannot prevent foreign employers from seeking out our workers because they are truly the best in the world,” he said.