The Senate labor committee is still waiting for the executive department to iron out its proposals for the creation of a department for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

JOEL9 - Villanueva awaits executive department’s inputs on Department of OFWs bill
Sen. Joel Villanueva (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Senator Joel Villanueva, labor committee chairman, said he filed last month Senate Bill No. 1848 seeking the establishment of a “Department of Overseas Filipino Workers”.

He said his bill consolidates the propositions of the Department of Labor and Employment, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Department of Budget and Management.

“But the affected agencies are still refining the provisions with the PLLO (Presidential Legislative Liaison Office) to ensure seamless services to overseas Filipinos,” Villanueva said.

“We are waiting for their final and unified version so we can immediately start the deliberation in the Senate labor committee,” he added.

President Duterte reiterated his appeal for the creation of a separate department that would specifically cater to the needs of migrant Filipino workers.

“I propose in the coming months, I hope to come up with a department of overseas workers,” he said in a recorded address aired on Tuesday morning.

Under Villanueva’s bill, the Department of Overseas Filipinos shall be the primary agency “tasked to protect the rights and promote the welfare of overseas Filipinos: formulate, plan, coordinate, promote, administer, and implement policies, and undertake systematic national development programs for managing and monitoring the overseas or foreign employment of Filipino workers, while taking into consideration domestic manpower and human resource requirements and the need to protect the right to decent work and fair and ethical recruitment practices.”

Aside from SB No. 1848, six other measures were filed in Senate on the same proposal.

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