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By Jovic Yee and DJ Yap "Since the leadership al- tached agencies Philippine Over- ''labor export" a state policy by of the reality that millions of
ready took a position, I would seas Employment Administruition sending icores of Filipinos Filipinos still had no jobs, and
go on record in supporting this and Overseas Workers wellare abroad. employers abroad were active-
Iabor Secretary Silvestre Bello III move to create a separate De- Admiiristration camot address The House leader defended ly "pirating" Filipino talent.
appeared to have been traPped partment of OFWS (overseas under the curent setup, Bello did House.bills creating such a de- In addition, the Taguig law-
into supporting the proposal cre- Filipino workers)," he said. not provide a direct aDswer. partment, arguing that it would maker said the department
ating a separate departrnent for In July, Mr. Duterte said in
/ "In recompense for their help address unemployment in would ensure that govemment
' migrant workers, which he ad- an event honoring OFWS that coFtribution, it's fair to create a the short term and prolnote the to OFw con-
services relaled
mitted on Tuesday "rurs he would rush the creation of welfare of oFws by pointing
dipartmentiust to focus on the cerns would be streamlined
countel'to the govemment s goal the department that would protectign and promotion of them to a one-stop shop for with one Cabinet-rank official
of repatriating these workers and solely cater to their needs. their welfare," Bello said. their concerns. on top of everything.
emuriry that they are provided Villanueva noted that while Cayetano is one of several
opportunities in tlle counfy. For migrant workers thei agreed that the rights of , ioirllr a reco8nition' lawrnakers who have filed a bill
During the Senate's delibera- Thus, his former aide, Sen. OFWs should be protected, "The criticisms that we'll be creating an OFW department,
, tion of his department's 2o2o Bong co, filed Senate Bill No. they wanted to be assured that perpetuating OFws and mak- one of the legislative priorities
budget, Bello pointed out that he 2o2, establishing the umbrella this was the "right direction" ing it policy to export laborers identified by Mr. Duterte dur-
had tried in the last few months agency that would address is- for the government, especially if we create a Department of ing his fourth State of the Na-
to remain neutral on the matter sues and concerns of migrant that it was in the middle of ra- OFWS are not true," Cayetano tion address inJuly.
given that as labor chief his "po- workers and their families. tionalizing the bureaucracy. told a joint hearing of the As of Tuesday, 3r simililr-
sition will always be suspect " When ask€d by labor com- Speaker Alan Peter House committees oltgovern- bills have been filed at the
But upon the prodding of miftee chair SeIL Joel Villanueva Cayetano, for his part, said it ment reorganization and on House, according to Batangas
senators, Bello taid he support- about the key features of the new was not the intention of propo- overseas workers affairs. Rep. Mario Vittorio Marino,
ed the move since this was what departrnent that the Department nents of a Department of Over- He said the OFW depart- Fhaif of the House govemment
President Duterte wanted. of Labor and Employment's at- seas Filipiho workers to make ment was only a "recognition" reorganization panel. NQ

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