SEN. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go again called for the establishment of the Department of Overseas Filipinos, saying an agency is needed to look after the welfare of Filipinos working and living abroad.
“I’m pushing for the creation of Department of Overseas Filipinos para po mayroon na tayong departamentong nakatutok sa kanila na tuwing may mga ganitong pangyayari, kita ninyo tuwing mayroong mga krisis, kung may mga sakit, iba-iba ang in charge, DoLE, DFA, DoH (I am pushing for the creation of the Department of Overseas Filipinos, a department that will solely focus on the concerns and needs of OFWs. As of now, when there is a crisis, various agencies are in charge, the Department of Labor, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Health),” Go said.
He was referring to the 30 Filipinos from Wuhan, China who were repatriated through the efforts of an emergency team composed of officials of the Foreign Affairs and Health departments. Wuhan is the epicenter of the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak.
Under Go’s Senate Bill 202 or the “Department of Overseas Filipinos Act of 2019,” all government agencies concerned about overseas Filipino affairs will be consolidated under one roof.
The senator emphasized the need for a unified department solely dedicated for overseas Filipinos to eliminate confusion on which department or agency will take charge of the concerns of overseas Filipinos, especially in times of crisis.
Go called on his colleagues to support the early passage of the bill.