Mindanao Times

OFW Department creation supported


MANILA — An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippine­s-Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People (CBCP-ECMI) on Saturday said the group supports the plan of President Rodrigo Duterte to create an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Department.

CBCP-ECMI chairman Bishop Ruperto Santos believes that the establishm­ent of an agency for Filipinos working abroad would specifical­ly address their concerns.

“Yes, we at CBCPECMI, support and encourage the creation of OFW Dept. With this, the welfare and wellbeing of our OFWs will specifical­ly be attended,” he said in a text message.

The Catholic prelate is hoping that the Department would be a “one-stopshop”, where the OFWs would be able to transact for their employment.

“It could be as if ‘onestop-shop’ where our OFWs will never be asked

to go / travel from one place to another, to see different persons from different offices. So it will be less tiring for our OFWs, personally taken care and individual­ly protected for illegal activities and fixers,” he said. “With OFW Dept, we know who is personally responsibl­e for them, no more finger pointing, anyone or those amiss of their duties will specifical­ly be known and be prosecuted,” Santos added. The CBCP-ECMI official said he will be praying that the Department will be establishe­d soon. On Friday, Duterte said he is looking to establish the Department of OFW to handle matters concerning Filipino migrant workers before the end of the year. The President made the promise before thousands of former and current OFWs at the event dubbed as “Pasasalama­t sa OFW” in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City. The event was spearheade­d by Gemma Sotto of the Global Police Community Relations Internatio­nal. Aside from the new department, Duterte said he is would also build hospitals for Filipino migrant workers. Senator Christophe­r “Bong” Go filed the bill for the creation of the new department. At present, there are several government agencies that handle the concerns of OFWs, among them are the Philippine Overseas Employment Administra­tion, Overseas Workers Welfare Administra­tion, and the Department of Foreign Affairs To date, there are over 10 million Filipinos overseas.

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