Labor department backs separate agency for OFWs

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 29 2020 12:35 PM

Labor department backs separate agency for OFWs 1
Repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFW) wait in line at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 in Pasay City on May 25, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Wednesday said it backs the proposed separate agency for overseas Filipino workers to streamline services for citizens abroad.

During his fifth State of the Nation Address, President Rodrigo Duterte renewed his call for the establishment of a department that would "solely" address the concerns of Filipinos abroad and their families.

"We really look forward to a DOFW (Department of OFW) that will be of better service to our brothers and sisters na OFW," Labor Undersecretary Joji Aragon said during a virtual press briefing.

"Itong Department of OFW is really envisioned to make our 
programs and services effective and more efficient," she added.

Currently, separate government agencies handle OFW affairs, among them the labor department, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, and the Department of Foreign Affairs' Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs. 

Filipino migrants, which number about 10 million, often grapple with labor issues and recruitment woes while some need legal assistance for alleged involvement in criminal activity.

Their remittances serve as a lifeline to the Philippine economy.