MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte thinks there should be a separate Department of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) established by year-end to prevent abusive recruiters from harming more Filipinos.
During the Araw ng Pasasalamat for OFWs in Camp General Aguinaldo on Friday (July 12) night, Duterte said he wanted the government to control and supervise the recruitment process of OFWs.
“By December…Buong Pilipinas ‘to. Bawal na ‘yang recruitment diyan sa labas napunta ka doon. Doon ka makipag-deal, may listahan doon, mamili ka na lang kung sinong gusto mo (This is for the entire Philippines. Recruitment outside government will be prohibited,” Duterte said in his speech.
“Government supervision and control because what has happened and has been happening is not acceptable to the Filipino now,” he added.
Duterte said the days of overseas recruiters are numbered since the creation of a new department would enhance measures to protect the interests of Filipinos living and working abroad.
“I have the power to do that because that kind of mechanism of recruiting Filipino workers abroad has been abused and abused and abused,” Duterte said.
Earlier, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, the President’s former aide, vowed the creation of a Department of OFWs among his priority bills in the upcoming 18th Congress.
Labor migration rights advocate Susan “Toots” Ople welcomed Duterte’s proposal noting that it will give the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) more time to focus on the problems of local workers.
At present, the DOLE’s attached agency, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) is in charge of regulating all recruitment agencies in the Philippines. (PNA)