MANILA — Eleven officials were appointed to various positions under the newly created Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), its chief Susan "Toots" Ople announced Wednesday.
In a statement, Ople said they are "a mix of seasoned government officials and new faces."
The appointed undersecretaries are the following:
- POEA administrator Bernard P. Olalia, to serve as Undersecretary for Licensing and Adjudication Services
- OWWA administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac, to serve as Undersecretary for Welfare and Foreign Employment
- Maria Anthonette Velasco-Allones, to serve as Undersecretary for Finance and Internal Affairs
- Patricia Yvonne M. Caunan, to serve as Undersecretary for Policy and International Cooperation
The DMW said Olalia will remain as officer-in-charge of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration "until such time that the DMW is deemed fully constituted upon the approval of its 2023 budget."
Olalia has been with Labor Department and the POEA for more than five years.
As Undersecretary for Welfare and Foreign Employment, Cacdac, also a former POEA administrator, will oversee the DMW's Aksyon Fund, which will be used to help distressed overseas Filipino workers in various countries.
Velasco-Allones' experience in the civil service spanned 31 years, according to the DMW. She was a Labor Assistant Secretary during the Arroyo administration and headed the Tourism Promotion Board prior to her latest appointment.
The DMW also mentioned the appointment of Arnell Ignacio as chief of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
Also joining the DMW are the following:
- Venecio Legaspi – Assistant Secretary for Reintegration
- Jerome A. Alcantara – Assistant Secretary for Land-based services and concurrently Chief of Staff, Office of the Secretary
- Levinson C. Alcantara – Assistant Secretary for Pre-employment Services
- Felicitas Q. Bay – Assistant Secretary for Migrant Workers Welfare Services
- Francis Ron C. de Guzman – Assistant Secretary for Licensing and Adjudication Services
- Jerome T. Pampolina – Assistant Secretary Sea-based Services
- Violeta D. Illescas – Assistant Secretary for Internal Management and Administration
In his press conference last July 5, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said he gave his Cabinet officials "a relatively free hand in deciding" who they want to hire and how they want to re-structure their departments.