Senator Christopher “Bong” Go told the media on Monday, March 14, that the establishment of the Department of Migrant Workers was only made possible through the hard work and determination not only of its proponents but also of every Filipino migrant worker.
During an ambush interview after his monitoring visit to the Malasakit Center at the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City, Go once again thanked fellow senator Joel Villanueva, chair of the Senate Labor Committee, who worked with him to get the Senate approval of the then proposed measure.
“Nagpapasalamat din po ako kay Senator Joel Villanueva. S’ya po ang kasama ko talaga,” shared Go who thanked Sen. Villanueva for spearheading and sponsoring the passage of the measure in the Senate.
“Nung una, hirap na hirap po kaming nakikiusap sa mga kasamahan namin sa Senado na suportahan po ito dahil para po ito sa OFWs natin at pangako po ito ni Pangulong (Rodrigo) Duterte, pangako po natin ito sa kanila,” he recounted.
Go authored and co-sponsored the Senate version of Republic Act 11641, Senate Bill No. 2234. It is the consolidated version of an earlier measure he filed which sought to create the Department of Overseas Filipino Workers, ensuring the efficient and effective delivery of key government services to the country’s modern-day heroes.
The DMW will focus the resources of the government on protecting the rights and advancing the interests of Filipino migrant workers.
In so doing, the DMW will absorb all powers and functions of government agencies currently in charge of matters related to overseas Filipino employment, such as the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs under the Department of Foreign Affairs; Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Philippine Overseas Labor Office, International Labor Affairs Bureau, and National Maritime Polytechnic under the Department of Labor and Employment; National Reintegration Center for migrant workers under the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration; and Office of the Social Welfare Attaché under the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Pursuant to Section 23 of the DMW Act, the Office of the President had issued a memorandum constituting the Transition Committee to facilitate the complete and full operation of the new department. President Duterte has also recently appointed Abdullah “Dabs” Mama-o as the secretary of DMW.
With the appointment of Mama-o, Go said that the Implementing Rules and Regulations are now being prepared, with the hope of making the new department fully operational before the President’s term ends.
“Pini-prepare na po ang IRR ngayon since meron nang secretary,” noted Go.
“Hopefully po, sana bago matapos ang termino ni Pangulong Duterte ay talagang nandiyan na ang departamentong lalapitan nyo na mag-aasikaso sa ating mga OFWs,” he added.
Earlier, the senator urged the government to ensure that there will be no disruptions in the delivery of government services to Filipino migrant workers as the functions, assets, and funds of relevant agencies are gradually transferred to the DMW under a two-year transition period.
“Regalo natin ito sa mga (migrant workers) na nagsasakripisyo. Malaki ang ambag sa ating bayan ng modern heroes natin. Para po ito sa inyo, itong Department of Migrant Workers,” he concluded.