Secretary Susan “Toots” V. Ople assures that the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) will serve as the ‘home’ of every overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in government, as she vows to simplify the existing processes for enhanced, efficient, and transparent service provision.
“The DMW is every OFW’s home in the government and we will ensure that everyone is empowered and protected. Ipaparamdam natin na may kakampi sila, na mayroong makikinig sa kanila, kaya nga ang unang kautusan ko ay bawal ang masungit sa ating mga OFWs dahil hindi biro ang pinagdaraanan nila,” Ople said.
The newly appointed Secretary seeks the simplification and transparency of the existing processes through digital solutions to further ease the burden of the OFWs.
Ople is prioritizing the review of the POEA’s, or the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration’s, rules and regulations including its system on contract verification and issuance of OECs for the streamlining of its key frontline services.
Ople also seeks to establish a separate set of rules and regulations for low and semi-skilled workers, considered as some of the most vulnerable workers, to ensure their protection as well as uphold their dignity from the period of application up to the full process of their labor migration.
The secretary also announced the soon to be created One Repatriation Command Center, or ORCC, a “one key hotline” which will provide immediate action and assistance for all the repatriation and welfare concerns of distressed OFWs.
OFWs, meanwhile, can look forward to sustainable and rewarding reintegration services anchored on partnerships with stakeholders such as local governments, non-government organizations (NGOs), and the private sector. Ople has tasked the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) as the Department’s lead agency in coordinating this initiative.
Meantime, Ople assures that there will be no disruption in the provision of services to the OFWs with the ongoing transition of the merged and consolidated agencies into the DMW.
“There will be no disruption in public service. For now, I am providing overall guidance. And policy wise, alam naman ng iba’t-ibang agencies at units ng DMW yung mga ginagawa nila. Ang kailangan lang talaga ay ‘yung mindset, orientation at konting retooling at capacity building for the enhancement of services to the OFWs and their families,” Ople explained.