Department of Migrant Workers 'not yet fully constituted,' says DOLE

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 23 2022 05:00 PM

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MANILA - The newly created Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) is "not yet fully constituted," since there are still elements that should be fulfilled, the labor department said on Saturday. 

This came amid questions over how some offices under different agencies would be absorbed under the new agency tasked to protect overseas Filipino workers (OFW). 

"Under Section 23 of the law, maliwanag na the Department of Migrant Workers will be fully constituted only after or when there is already an implementing rules and regulations, mayroong budget at mayroong staffing pattern," Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in a televised briefing.

"Hanggang hindi naku-comply iyong tatlo na iyan, iyong DMW is still in a transition period. Hindi pa fully operational," he noted.

The POEA this week said the committee would release the staffing pattern by June 3. It will also craft the new agency's budget to be included in the 2023 government spending.

Meanwhile, Bello clarified that the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers' Affairs, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, International Labor Affairs Bureau, and the National Reintegration Center for OFWs are still operating within their respective agencies.

"They are operating under their respective department. Hindi pa sila makakapagtrabaho under DMW, kasi DMW is not yet fully constituted," he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte approved the law's implementing rules and regulations (IRR) crafted by the transition committee this week. 

This developed amid issues that surrounded the IRR draft, after DMW Secretary Abdullah Mama-o created a separate IRR for the agency. 

Bello said the law is clear that the IRR should be crafted by the transition committee. 

Duterte approved the law creating the new agency last December. 

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