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)
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Monday said that President Rodrigo Duterte will not interfere with the row between Duterte Youth Party-list nominee Ronald Cardema and Commission on Elections (Comelec) Rowena Guanzon.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Cardema and Guanzon’s feud is between the two of them.
He added that the president will not meddle in the issue as he respects the independence of Comelec and other constitutional bodies.
“The case between Mr. Cardema and Commissioner Guanzon, I think it’s between the two of them,” he said.
“Moreover, the President respects the independence of any constitutional body. The President has not and will not interfere on any function of the Commission as well as other constitutional bodies,” he added.
Guanzon has been vocal about her opposition to Cardema’s nomination as the Duterte Youth Party-list representative and accused the latter as the one behind the threats against her.
Cardema, in turn, accused Guanzon of extortion, which she denied.
The Commissioner also dared the former to file an impeachment case against her.
The feud between the two follows the decision of the poll body’s first division to cancel Cardema’s nomination as representative of the Duterte Youth party because the law states that youth representatives must be from 25 to 30 years old.
Instead of having word war, Panelo advised Cardema to file an appropriate complaint against Guanzon to settle the issue. (with details from Rosalie Coz)
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