MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the newly established Department of Migrant Workers, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said on Thursday.
The IRR was crafted by the transition committee of the agency which was participated by POEA and other representatives through a series of conference, state media said.
POEA Administrator Bernard Olalia said the approved IRR focuses on promoting the protection of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) and streamlining their document processing, among other things.
"Ang pangunahing layunin nito ay magkaroon ng policy coherence. At yung serbisyo ay ilapit natin sa ating clientele, lalo na sa mga miyembro ng ating OFWs," Olalia said in a televised briefing.
(The goal of this IRR is to have policy coherence. Our services will be more accessible to our OFWs.)
"Doon sa DMW, [ilalagay] na po natin sa regional offices 'yung pangunahing serbisyo para sa ating OFWs. Ibig sabihin, makakapagproseso na sila sa kani-kanilang probinsya, 'di na nila kailangang pumunta sa Maynila," he added.
(With the DMW, primary services for our OFWs can be availed of in regional offices. This means they can process their documents in their provinces and without the need to go to Manila.)
POEA's adjudication function, he said, will also be decentralized and given to DMW's regional or provincial offices.
This means that OFWs can file complaints on recruitment violations without going to the central offices mostly based in the capital region.
There were two IRRs presented to Malacañang, one made by the transition committee and the other made by DMW Secretary Abdullah Mama-o.
Mama-o's IRR was published earlier this month, prompting members of the transition committee to appeal to the Palace to nullify it, earlier reports said.
During Thursday's public briefing, Olalia said the two IRRs were "almost" similar.
"Wala namang naging pagbabago doon, mga minor details lang. Ang pinaka-importante may aprubado nang IRR ang Malacañang," he said.
(There's not much difference between the two proposed IRRs, except for minor details. The important thing now is an IRR has already been approved by Malacanang.)
Under the IRR, the POEA administrator office will turn into the Office of the DMW Secretary, said Olalia.
He said the agency will release the staffing pattern by June 3. They will also craft the agency's budget to be included in the 2023's government spending.
Duterte approved the law creating the new agency last December.