Duterte taps Abdullah Mama-o to head new Department of Migrant Workers

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 09 2022 04:02 PM

Special envoy to Kuwait, Abdullah Mama-o. file/video grab frm PTV-4
Special envoy to Kuwait, Abdullah Mama-o. file/video grab frm PTV-4


MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed his adviser Abdullah Mama-o to lead the newly-created Department of Migrant Workers, Malacañang said on Wednesday. 

"The Palace congratulates Mr. Abdullah Derupong Mama-o on his appointment as Secretary of the Department of Migrant Workers," Duterte's acting spokesman Martin Andanar said in a statement. 

Mama-o previously served as Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) and Muslims Concerns. 

In 2018, Duterte also appointed Mama-o as special envoy to Kuwait, following a string of reported abuse and deaths of OFWs, including Joanna Demafelis, whose body was found in a freezer in Kuwait earlier that year. 

"His experience and qualifications in labor and diplomatic negotiations, among others, as the Presidential Adviser on OFW concerns will be invaluable to his new position and to our migrant workers," said Andanar. 
 
Duterte approved the law creating the Department of Migrant Workers last December. 

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 in 2020, equivalent to one-third of last year's P4.506 trillion national budget, Sen. Joel Villanueva earlier said. 

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