Senator Go Commends the Passage of Bill Creating OFW Department
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go commends the ongoing collaboration between the government’s executive and legislative branches for ensuring the passage of a bill that seeks to create a new department for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
The Senate Bill No. 202, proposed by Senator Bong Go last July 2019, seeks to improve the delivery of government services to Filipinos abroad by streamlining the relevant services scattered across various national agencies.
The bill takes into consideration the suggestions from concerned executive agencies and has been endorsed by the Office of the Cabinet Secretary and Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) to the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resources Development.
Go stated that, “As early as last year, I have been calling for the speedy provision of services to our overseas Filipino workers through the establishment of a department that will oversee their welfare.”
President Rodrigo Duterte has called Congress several times to prioritize the passage of this measure during his 2019 and 2020 State of the Nation Address (SONA). The President expressed how significant the contributions of OFWs to the Philippine economy were and emphasized the need to serve and predict them.
In the new version of the bill, Senate Bill No. 1835, the following offices are placed together under the proposed department, which shall be called the Department of Overseas Filipinos (DOOF):
- The Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs of the Department of Foreign Affairs
- The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO)
- All Philippine Overseas Labor Offices under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
- The International Labor Affairs Bureau under DOLE
- The International Social Services Office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Additionally, the new version of the bill gives DOOF administrative supervision over the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), which shall be attached to the proposed department.
Upon the approval of the bill, the DOOF will protect the rights and promote the welfare of OFWs as well as undertake systematic national development programs for managing and monitoring the overseas employment of Filipino workers.