Manila Bulletin : Ople confirms Marcos offer to head new OFW-centric agency

By Seth Cabanban | Manila Bulletin

The Cabinet position to lead the newly-formed Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) was offered to Susan “Toots” Ople–a known advocate of overseas Filipino workers’ (OFWs) rights–by presumptive president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Ople, who served as the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) undersecretary from 2004 to 2009, confirmed Marcos’s offer on Wednesday, May 18.

She is also the daughter of late Senator Blas Ople.

“We met last Friday [May 13], and it was a warm, and inspiring meeting. He [Marcps] spoke about the need to get the new department up and running, and for it to care for our OFWs and also develop programs for their families especially the children of migrant workers,” Ople said in a statement.

“Given his kind offer for me to return to public service, I am now in a process of discernment and consultations – because I am aware of the enormity of the task and the challenges involved,” she added.

The bill establishing the DMW was signed into law only last December. It is currently being led by Sec. Abdullah Mama-o, former Presidential Adviser on OFWs.

Aside from Ople, Marcos has also reportedly offered the position of DOLE secretary to Bienvenido Laguesma who formerly served as labor secretary from 1998 to 2001.

Both Ople and Laguesma have yet to respond to their respective Cabinet offers.

Meanwhile, two seats in Marcos’s Cabinet have already been confirmed: presumptive Vice President Sara Duterte for the Department of Education (DepEd); and former Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos for the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).