House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano sees the smooth passage of the bill seeking the creation of the Department of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), which was certified urgent by President Rodrigo Duterte.
The former Foreign Affairs secretary cited the need to have a department that will look after the welfare and protection of OFWs.
“I was able to prove when I was at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) that no matter the care of the DFA secretary, the President to the OFWs, someone has to be in charge to ensure their welfare and protection, and to help them seek better work opportunities, hence we have a House version of the Department of Overseas Filipino Workers and Foreign Employment,” Cayetano said in a mix of English and Filipino on Sunday.
“If we hold job fairs, operate the Public Employment Service Office programs, then we should have an agency looking for opportunities for Filipinos to work abroad,” he added.
Out of over 2,000 House bills and resolutions tabled in the first week of the regular session of the 18th Congress, House Bill 2, or “an Act creating the Department of Overseas Filipino Workers and Foreign Employment,” had been tabled for first reading.
The bill defined the department’s powers, fund appropriation, organization and functions. The measure was authored by Cayetano, his wife Taguig First District Rep. Maria Laarni Cayetano and Deputy Speaker Paolo Duterte.
Cayetano expressed confidence that the Senate version of the measure would be approved in no time.
“This is also a priority by Sen. [Christopher Lawrence “Bong”] Go in the Senate. The President said that he wants this. So, now, we are looking at least three departments: the Department of Disaster Resilience, the Department of Water and the Department of OFWs,” he said.