President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has designated television personality Arnaldo Arevalo “Arnell” Ignacio as head of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Malacañang announced on Wednesday.
Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles confirmed Ignacio’s appointment in a statement.
“We confirm the appointment of Mr. Ignacio as Executive Director Admin. V of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration,” Cruz-Angeles said.
Malacañang has yet to release a copy of Ignacio’s appointment paper.
The OWWA, on its official website, noted that its role is to protect and promote the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families.
It is also tasked to provide assistance to distressed OFWs and offer livelihood training and programs for their reintegration.
In his first State of the Nation Address delivered on July 25, Marcos emphasized the need to set policies and programs aimed at easing the burden of the OFWs.
Ignacio was also appointed to the OWWA as deputy administrator under the watch of Marcos’ predecessor, former president Rodrigo Duterte.
Ignacio first joined the OWWA in 2018 but quit his post in February 2019, citing “personal reasons.”
In April 2019, Ignacio announced that he graduated with a political science degree from the University of Makati.
Ignacio also served as assistant vice president for community relations and services at the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
He was reappointed as OWWA deputy administrator in September 2021, Cruz-Angeles noted.
“He was reappointed in September of last year to the same post and will now occupy the position of Administrator, vice Hans Cacdac who will be serving as Usec (Undersecretary) of DMW (Department of Migrant Workers) on Welfare and Foreign Employment,” she said.
Cruz-Angeles said head of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Bernard Olalia would serve as the agency’s officer in charge (OIC).
“POEA Admin. Bernard Olalia will be Usec. for Licensing and Adjudication. He will be the OIC of POEA until such time that the department is deemed fully constituted on the approval of the 2023 budget,” she said.
Cruz-Angeles said Venecio Legaspi, a former OFW, has also been appointed as assistant secretary for reintegration.
“For reintegration, a former OFW for 29 years – Venecio Legaspi, who worked for several years in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia has been appointed. He rose from the ranks to assume the post of vice president in a prominent Saudi Bank,” Cruz-Angeles said. (PNA)