Sen. Joel “TESDAMAN” Villanueva cautioned the Transition Committee establishing the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) in making the next steps to fully constitute the agency orderly but expediently.
“The Transition Committee should aim for a speedy and orderly turnover of functions to the DMW during the transition period, while making sure that there are no interruptions to OFW services. Confusion and delays during this period will be at the cost of the livelihoods of our migrant workers,” said Villanueva.
The senator made this statement after DMW issued a department order lifting the deployment of migrant workers to Saudi Arabia, contrary to the prevailing ban imposed by the Department of Labor and Employment. He also said that the DMW should refrain from issuing orders or directives on deployment bans before the department is fully constituted.
Republic Act No. 11641, or the Department of Migrant Workers Act, requires the DMW Secretary to consult with the Advisory Board on Migration and Development and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary before it decides any ban on the deployment of migrant workers, which can only be undertaken when the DMW is fully operational.
The senator added that confusing directives especially on deployment bans make OFWs vulnerable to illegal recruiters and fixers.
“The transition period compounds a very delicate time for our migrant workers. Not only will a new administration impact this important sector, but global events such as the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict have far-reaching effects. Let’s get our act together for our OFWs,” said Villanueva.
According to the author of and sponsor of R.A. 11641, the Philippines is currently seeing an uptick of OFWs going out of the country as the world is reopening from the pandemic. At the same time, returning OFWs adversely affected by the pandemic have led to a “reverse diaspora” or “brain gain” for the country. He also noted that government agencies have their hands full with providing OFW services in current areas of concern such as Shanghai, Hongkong, and Ukraine.
“The Transition Committee faces challenging tasks especially during an election year, but our OFWs deserve a good and fresh start for the new department,” said Villanueva.
According to R.A. 11641, the new department will be fully constituted after the publication of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), submission of its staffing pattern to the Department of Budget and Management, and drawing up its budget in the General Appropriations Act for the first year of operations.
“The faster the Transition Committee complies with the requirements of the law to constitute the DMW, the sooner we deliver our promise of dedicated service to our OFWs,” Villanueva said.
The Transition Committee includes the DMW’s Secretary, the DFA’s Undersecretary for the Office of Migrant Workers Affairs, as well as the heads of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB), National Reintegration Center for OFW (NRCO), National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), and the Office of the Social Welfare Attaché (OSWA).
Villanueva reminded the Transition Committee that the government’s policy is to make overseas employment an option rather than a necessity for skilled Filipino workers.
“Our job in government is to provide the Filipino workforce with training and skills, and then help them find jobs and flourish wherever they choose. But it is also our job to make the Philippines the best place to work for Filipinos. The grass is always greener on the side where it is watered,” said Villanueva, who chairs the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resources Development
Panawagan ni TESDAMAN: Mabilis ngunit maayos na transition para sa DMW
Nagbabala si Sen. Joel “TESDAMAN” Villanueva sa Transition Committee na magtatag sa Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) na gawing mabilis ngunit maayos ang mga susunod na hakbang para gawing fully constituted ang bagong ahensya.
“The Transition Committee should aim for a speedy and orderly turnover of functions to the DMW during the transition period, while making sure that there are no interruptions to OFW services. Makakasagabal sa kabuhayan ng ating mga migrant workers ang anumang kaguluhan, kalituhan, o pagkaantala sa transition period na ito,” sabi ni Villanueva.
Ito ang naging pahayag ng senador matapos maglabas ng kautusan ang DMW na bawiin ang deployment ban ng OFWs sa Saudi Arabia, na taliwas sa kasalukuyang utos ng Department of Labor and Employment. Sinabi rin ni Villanueva na hindi dapat muna maglabas ng mga kautusan o direktiba ang DMW tungkol sa mga deployment ban habang hindi pa fully constituted ang departamento.
Ayon sa Republic Act No. 11641, o ang Department of Migrant Workers Act, kailangan ng DMW Secretary na konsultahin muna ang Advisory Board on Migration and Development, at ang Secretary ng Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) bago magdesisyon tungkol sa kahit anong deployment ban, ang mangyayari lamang ito kung fully operational na ang DMW.
Sinabi pa ng senador na maaring gamitin ng mga illegal recruiter at fixer ang mga nakakalitong direktiba lalo na tungkol sa mga deployment ban para manloko ng mga OFW.
“The transition period compounds a very delicate time for our migrant workers. Direktang apektado na ang sector sa pagpasok ng bagong administrasyon, apektado pa sila ng mga global event gaya ng pandemic at alitan sa pagitan ng Russia at Ukraine. Let’s get our act together for our OFWs,” sabi ni Villanueva.
Ayon sa author at sponsor ng R.A. 11641, tumataas na ang bilang ng OFWs na lumalabas sa bansa habang nagbubukas na ang mundo mula sa pandemya. Gayundin naman, may mga nagsisibalikan na OFW dahil pa rin sa pandemya, at nagreresulta ito sa “reverse diaspora” o “brain gain” sa Pilipinas. Sinabi rin ng senador na abala rin ang mga ahensya ng gobyerno ang pagserbisyo sa OFW sa mga areas of concern gaya ng Shanghai, Hongkong, at Ukraine.
“The Transition Committee faces challenging tasks especially during an election year, but our OFWs deserve a good and fresh start for the new department,” sabi ni Villanueva.
Ayon sa DMW Act, magiging fully constituted lamang ang ahensya matapos ang publication ng Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), pagpasa ng staffing pattern sa Department of Budget and Management, at pagkakaroon ng budget sa General Appropriations Act sa unang taon ng operasyon ng ahensya.
“Mas mabilis nating matutupad ang ating pangakong serbisyo sa mga OFW kung mas mabilis matapos ng Transition Committee ang mga requirement ng batas para sa pag-constitute ng DMW,” sabi ni Villanueva.
Ang Transition Committee ay kinabibilangan ng DMW Secretary, Undersecretary for the Office of Migrant Workers Affairs ng DFA, at mga pinuno ng Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB), National Reintegration Center for OFW (NRCO), National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), at ng Office of the Social Welfare Attaché (OSWA).
Pinaalahanan din ni Villanueva ang Transition Committee na polisiya ng gobyerno na gawing option lamang para sa mga manggagawang Pilipino ang mag-ibang-bayan para makapagtrabaho.
“Trabaho natin sa gobyerno ang bigyan ng skills training ang mga manggagawang Pilipino, para makapagtrabaho at magtagumpay saan man nila mapili. Trabaho din nating gawing “best place to work for Filipinos” ang sarili nating bansa. The grass is always greener on the side where it is watered,” sabi ng chair ng Senate Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resources Development.