ACTS-OFW Partylist Rep. John Bertiz III has thanked former Special Assistant to the President and now senatorial candidate Christopher “Bong” Go for fully supporting the creation of an executive department for overseas Filipino workers (OFW).
“We are grateful for SAP Bong Go’s nonstop support to our call to create a Department of Migration and Development for all our OFWs. This goes to show that our government has been listening to the concerns of OFWs and their families,” Bertiz said during a visit to Filipino communities in Hong Kong.
“The bill for this OFW department has been filed way back 2016, and we are hopeful that soon this would become a law. I know that President Duterte has always been supportive of our OFWs so I am positive that he will support this,” he added.
House Bill No. 192 was introduced by Bertiz to answer the need to integrate all OFW-related offices into one department, lessening the burden faced by migrant workers when processing their documents for employment.
At present, OFW and their families need to reach out to more than four government agencies for their concerns namely the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Commission on Filipino Overseas (CFO), the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
“Itong OFW department na naisusulong natin, magsisilbi siyang one-stop shop para sa lahat ng mga kababayan natin. Hindi na kailangang magpalipat-lipat ng mga ahensya para lumapit sa atin, centralize na natin, madali nang matutulungan,” Bertiz said.
According to Bertiz, the proposed department will be the primary policy-making and implementing agency when it comes to overseas employment affairs, maximizing government resources to respond to the needs of modern-day heroes.
With the President’s recent signing into law a measure creating the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, Bertiz said he remains hopeful that the OFW department will come as soon as possible.
“Tuloy naman po tayo sa ating mandato na isulong ang kapakanan ng ating mga OFWs at ng kanilang mga mahal sa buhay. Sa tulong po ng ating Pangulo, ako po ay umaasa na itong panukalang batas ay magkakaroon ng katuparan,” Bertiz said.