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Department of Migrant Workers best ‘Christmas gift’ to OFWs

Business Mirror, Philippines, 15 December 2021 - THE Senate approved on third and final reading Tuesday night a Malacañang-certified bill creating the Department of Migrant Workers, with one senator tagging it the “best Christmas gift” to overseas Filipino workers and peers expressing confidence it would lead to a more rationalized and coordinated approach to caring for an important sector that has shored up the economy for nearly five decades.

Gordon earlier introduced key amendments adopted by De la Rosa that were carried in the approved version of Senate Bill 2234. One is  “empowering and requiring the DMW, in coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs, to conduct regular, timely, and relevant political and security risk assessment in particular to the OFW-receiving country.” This includes evacuation plans to be coordinated with OFWs, not only for immediate deployment but also in cases of emergencies requiring swift action, such as their possible evacuation within a host country, or within a region.

Gordon recalled that since the Covid-19 pandemic started in March 2020, the government has repatriated thousands of OFWs displaced from their work abroad. Official figures show that 785,448 OFWs have been repatriated under a whole-of-government approach involving several agencies led by the DFA and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

“I would not want to lose this opportunity to congratulate all our kababayans overseas on this historic victory,” administration Senator Ronald De la Rosa, the bill’s main sponsor, said, following its approval in plenary deliberations presided by Senate President Vicente Sotto III.

Senator Richard Gordon likewise lauded timely passage of the legislation creating the OFW department, which the chairman of the Senate Labor committee, Sen. Joel Villanueva, had defended on the floor for the past weeks.



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