Marcos offers DOLE leadership to Laguesma, OFW dept post to Toots Ople

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 17 2022 03:31 PM | Updated as of May 17 2022 11:38 PM

This composite ABS-CBN News/File
This composite image shows former labor chief Bienvenido Laguesma and OFW representative Susan "Toots" Ople. SSS website/Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA (UPDATED) — The camp of presumptive president Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Tuesday confirmed that it offered Cabinet posts to former labor secretary Bienvenido Laguesma and overseas Filipino worker advocate Susan "Toots" Ople.

Laguesma is being eyed to head the Department of Labor (DOLE), while Ople is expected to lead the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), said Marcos Jr.'s spokesman Vic Rodriguez. 

"Sila ay very warm 'yung pagtanggap, they were honored," Rodriguez, who also heads the Marcos transition team, said in a press conference in their headquarters in Mandaluyong.

"Nanghihingi lang ng oras at panahon para makunsulta at makausap yung kanilang pamilya at iilang kaibigan at mga taong pinaniniwalaan at hihingi ng payo," he said.

(Their reception was very warm, they were honored. They just asked for some time to consult and talk with their families and some friends and people they trust to ask for advice.)

"When you are doing so well in the private sector, when you are doing so well in your private practice, medyo challenging din na maimbita mo sa pamahalaan dahil sakripisyo 'yan," he said.

(When you are doing so well in the private sector, when you are doing so well in your private practice, medyo, it's a bit of a challenge to be invited to the government because that is a sacrifice.)


Laguesma is a government official who climbed the career ladder in the Labor department.

He started as a labor arbiter in 1976, and was named as Undersecretary of DOLE from 1990-1996.

He was appointed secretary of Labor under the administration of former President Joseph "Erap" Estrada from 1998 to 2001.

In 2011, Laguesma - who also maintains a law firm - was appointed commissioner of the Social Security Commission.

In 2013, he was named one of the representatives of the Social Security System board.

Ople, on the other hand, is a daughter of late Foreign Affairs Secretary Blas Ople.

She worked as the chief of staff of her father before she was named as a Labor undersecretary, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking, the first Filipino to hold the post.

Since her father's demise, Ople became the founder and president of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center and Training Institute (Ople Center), a non-profit organization which focuses on upholding migrant workers’ rights and welfare.


Convincing potential Cabinet members to leave the private sector has been "challenging," Rodriguez said.

"Medyo challenge na kumbinsihin mo itong mga galing sa pribadong sektor na pansamantalang iwanan yung kanilang pribadong buhay at sumailalim sa buhay na para kang nasa loob ng glass house at araw-araw ay laging under scrutiny," he said.

"It's not that they do not want to serve the country, it's not that they are willing to make this meaningful sacrifices, kinakailangan lang nila ihanda bukod sa kanilang sarili ay yung kanilang mga pamilya."

While Marcos Jr. has yet to identify his priorities for his first 100 days as president, Rodriguez said that the country can expect key positions to be filled up during the incoming chief executive's first 3 months in office.

"What can we expect in the first 100 days, posible those meaningful appointments on the position in the government," he said.

"Siguro mas mainam na sukatin at husgahan tayo sda kaniyang magiging last 100 days ."

Last week, Marcos named presumptive Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio as his Education secretary, while his campaign manager Benhur Abalos was appointed to head the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

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