Duterte wants OFW department up by December

Robie de Guzman   •   July 15, 2019   •   2380

One-stop service for Overseas Filipino Workers or OFWs in side the POEA biulding in Ortigas.

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte wants the establishment of a separate Department of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) by December this year to address the persistent woes with illegal recruiters and other concerns.

Duterte said the proposed department’s power will include strict regulation of Philippine-based recruitment agencies.

“Kaya apurahin ko ‘yang Department of OFW. Bawal na ang recruitment sa abroad — sa labas. Kung gusto nila, diyan sila maglagay ng mesa. So, under the supervision of government at walang horrendous charges. Hindi ako papayag ng ganun ‘pag natayo ‘yan,” the president said in a speech during the Araw ng Pasasalamat for OFWs ceremony at Camp Aguinaldo last Friday (July 12).

Duterte said he wants the framework for this proposal be completed by the second week of August.

He also warned illegal and abusive recruiters to shape up as they will no longer operate without direct government supervision once the proposed department is created.

“Kaya kayong mga recruitment, bilang talaga ang araw ninyo… ‘Pag hindi ko kayo nadala sa usapan na maganda, brasohan tayo. ‘Pag nag-brasohan tayo, kayo ang matatalo. Sigurado ‘yan,” he said.

In line with this, former special assistant to the president and now Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go filed the Senate Bill 202 or the Department of Overseas Filipinos Act of 2019.

Go’s proposal seeks the creation of the said department to serve as the umbrella agency to address all concerns of Filipinos working overseas.

The measure will also create an Overseas Filipinos Assistance Fund to provide financial aid to Filipino migrants in distress and provide livelihood loans for OFWs returning to the Philippines for good.

Once approved into law, the department will absorb the functions of the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Department of Foreign Affairs-Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs, the International Labor Affairs Bureau and the Commission on Filipinos Overseas.

Currently, Filipinos wanting to work abroad need to go to different departments to secure necessary documents and present other concerns such as employment and technical education.

The neophyte lawmaker believes the president will certify the measure as urgent to swiftly hurdle the Congress before the year ends.

“I think it’s possible and doable naman po by December. Maybe the president will certify it as urgent. At ang gusto na mangyari ng presidente [ay] maiwasan ang illegal recruitment or maging biktima ng illegal recruitment,” he said. (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte welcomes Senate panel’s move to challenge his memo before SC

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday (October 25) welcomed the move of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to challenge his memorandum before the Supreme Court (SC).

Duterte assured they will defend the memorandum prohibiting Executive Department officials from attending the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearings on the procurement of pandemic supplies. The Senate panel wants to challenge the legality of Duterte’s said memo.

“At last, the members of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee have finally seen the light. We welcome this move of bringing the legality of the memorandum to the Supreme Court and we would like to congratulate the members for realizing, albeit late. That it is the court which should eventually decide on the constitutionality of the order and we will defend it,” the President said during his weekly public address aired Monday night.

“This is by far the most decent thing the committee has done and we are most eager to answer whatever questions you have regarding my not allowing officials of the Executive to attend your hearings that are legislative purposes,” he added.

The president again criticized the panel’s way of questioning resource persons, saying executive officials are made to wait for a long time but are not called to speak.

“Iyong mga tao ko sa gobyerno, iyong ipinapatawag ninyo at pahintayin ninyo ng ilang oras at hindi naman ninyo tatawagin at kung nandoon iniinsulto ninyo, para bang walang alam,” he said.

Duterte added that the SC is the only venue where the disagreement with the Senate panel may be settled.

“You have to be courteous if you want to be treated with courtesy,” he said. AAC

Duterte to virtually attend ASEAN Summit meetings

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte will attend the 38th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit virtually, Malacañang said on Monday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. confirmed that Duterte will attend the summit which will be held between October 26 and 28 in Bandar Seri Begawan, capital of Brunei.

Dadalo po ang ating Presidente (Our President will take part in the Summit) via Zoom or computer hook-up from October 26 to 28,” Roque said.

The meeting will center on the pandemic response, security, and economic issues in Asia. AAC

Duterte inaugurates Sariaya Bypass Road

Robie de Guzman   •   October 22, 2021

President Rodrigo Duterte has inaugurated the 7.42-kilometer long Sariaya Bypass Road in Quezon Province.

In a speech after unveiling the marker on the new road on Thursday, Duterte said the completion of the project affirms the administration’s “strong commitment to improve the quality of life of Filipinos by pursuing strategic infrastructure projects across the country thereby improving connectivity and mobility, creating jobs, and dispersing economic activity throughout the regions.”

“It will likewise spur the growth of industries and business opportunities in the area, thereby boosting the socio-economic development of Quezon Province and improve the lives of the people,” Duterte said.

“As we continue to overcome the current pandemic and carefully reopen our national and local economies, infrastructure development will play a vital role in our success,” he added.

The bypass road is seen to provide faster and safer travel for motorists and will also allow efficient transport of goods to and from the markets in Southern Luzon, the President said.

The road could also lessen the traffic volume along Daang Maharlika from Sariaya to Lucena City by 40 percent.

Stretching from the Manila South Road Daang Maharlika to the Quezon Eco-Tourism Road, the Sariaya Bypass Road is expected to cater to around 15,000 motorists and commuters daily going to the different provinces in the Southern Tagalog Region.

At the same time, it is seen to spur economic and social development through efficient transportation, improved road safety and enhanced business opportunities in Quezon Province.

The Sariaya Bypass Road is one of the flagship projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) under the administration’s Build, Build, Build Program.

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