MANILA - The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) are set to create a transition committee in preparation for the formation of the Department of Migrant Workers.
This comes after almost a week since President Rodrigo Duterte signed a law to create a new government agency to address concerns and provide more protection for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
“Bukas mayroon akong directorate meeting, and one of the very important agenda na ita-tackle namin is the creation of the transition committee within the POEA in order to discuss and take up the proposed Department of Migrant Workers,” said POEA Administrator Bernard Olalia in DOLE’s virtual briefing.
(I will have a directorate meeting tomorrow and we will tackle the creation of the transition committee within POEA to discuss the proposed Department of Migrant Workers.)
Aside from the POEA, DOLE is also set to also create its own transition committee.
“Ang DOLE din po magsasagawa at magke-create ng sarili niyang transition committee para sa mga agencies din na maaalis sa poder ng DOLE,” Olalia added.
(DOLE will take up and create its own transition committee for the agencies that would be removed in its jurisdiction.)
“Napaka-importante nito kasi majority sa mga agencies na mabubuo ay manggagaling sa Department of Labor and Employment.”
(This is important because the majority of the agencies came from DOLE.)
There were some 2.2 million overseas Filipino workers in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced about half a million OFWs to go back home, officials have said.
Despite the economic slowdown that the pandemic caused, OFWs still managed to send home $33.2 billion last year, equivalent to one-third of the present P4.506 trillion national budget, bill sponsor Sen. Joel Villanueva earlier said.