THE controversy involving Philippine embassy and labor officials has highlighted the need for a separate department that will focus on the needs of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) who are subjected to abuse or crisis.
According to outgoing senator Manny Villar, having a separate Department of OFW (DOFW) that would take care needs, specifically of the Filipino migrant workers could help ensure their protection against abuse, exploitation and danger brought by armed conflicts.
Villar came up with the proposal but was not able have the corresponding proposed bill ready because of limited time.
But he said his wife, Senator-elect Cynthia Villar, is willing to file a proposed measure seeking for the creation of the (DOFW).
The Villar proposal would also put an end to the practice of finger-pointing among concerned agencies on repatriation and evacuation requirements of embattled OFWs.
He added that although the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) have been involved in the OFW matters, the said agencies have other mandates which also need attention.
The establishment of an OFW department will simplify and harmonize efforts to look after them when there’s a crisis and secure their welfare and rights during peace time.