Labor dept mulls OFW Commission, instead of separate department

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 16 2019 12:57 PM

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Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said Tuesday he is studying the creation of a commission for the protection of migrant workers, instead of a separate executive department, an idea floated by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Duterte last week promised that a new department for the concerns of overseas Filipino workers will be in place by December.

"Kung ano'ng sabi ng Presidente, susunod tayo. Pero baka we'll look for a new formulation na instead of department, baka pwedeng commission na solely dedicated to the protection of our overseas workers," Bello told radio DZMM.

(We'll follow what the President says. But we may look for a new formulation in which instead of a department, we could create a commission that will be solely dedicated to the protection of our overseas workers.)

He said he has directed senior labor officials to draft a proposal on the new entity that will absorb the functions of Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and International Labor Affairs Bureau, among others.

There were 2.3 million OFWs from April to September 2018, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The number of OFWs, who remit some P 1.6 trillion annually, is expected to increase "in the sense that there are more markets now," said Bello.

DZMM, 16 July 2019