Dept. of Migrant Workers still in transition period: DFA

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MANILA – The seven migration agencies to be absorbed by the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) would remain under the control of their parent agencies until conditions for the DMW’s constitution have been met, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Thursday.

Section 23 of Republic Act 11641, which created the DMW, states that the newly created agency would only be fully constituted once the following have been met:

– An appropriation in the 2023 General Appropriations Act;
– An effective implementing rules and regulations (IRR); and
– A staffing pattern has been issued.

“Presently, the DMW is undergoing its two-year transition period, and is yet to publish its Implementing Rules and Regulations, planning its staffing pattern, and preparing its budget proposal; the details of which would be released once completed,” the DFA said in a statement.

The DFA said it fully supports DMW’s efforts to become fully operational as soon as possible so that it may fulfill its mandate to protect the rights of all overseas Filipino workers.

“In the meantime, all migration agencies to be subsumed are still under the control and supervision of their respective parent agencies until such time the legal requisites have been fulfilled for the DMW to be deemed fully constituted,” it said.

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In a separate tweet on Thursday, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said the OFW department’s fate would depend on the next administration.

“The new department is for the next administration to set up. We are not transferring funds to alleged officials of a nonexistent office,” he said.

“While we are responsible for OFW concerns we retain the funds (Senator Franklin) Drilon set aside for DFA to continue its consistently honest service to OFWs,” he added.

DFA’s Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs (OUMWA) is among the seven offices that would be subsumed under the new agency.

The other offices that would be brought under DMW are the International Labor Affairs Bureau, the National Reintegration Center for OFWs, the National Maritime Polytechnic, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, the Office of the Social Welfare Attache, and all Philippine Overseas Labor Offices.

Last February, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola said an IRR should be published by April 18, followed by the staffing pattern on June 3. (PNA)