Government agencies involved in the care of overseas Filipino workers will have a year to transfer their mandate and operations under the newly enacted Department of Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos.
These agencies include the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers' Affairs, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Philippine Overseas Labor Offices, International Labor Affairs Bureau, and National Reintegration Center for OFWs.
"There will be a one year transition period bago magsama-sama kaming lahat under one roof (before we all get together in one roof) sa Department of Migrant Workers," Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers' Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola said.
She said the OUMWA would make sure that there would be no disruption of service during the transition period.
"We are going to fully cooperate with the transition period of one year to be able to make sure yung paglipat ng OUMWA sa bagong department ay flawless talaga, (we will make sure the transition is flawless.)," Arriola said.
"That is the reason why we are also here because we are talking about the transition so that we hit the ground running and there will be no disruption of service in the process of transition," she added.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier signed Republic Act 11641 or the measure establishing the Department of Migrant Workers. Under the law, it will absorb all functions and mandates of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and will be the primary agency under the Executive branch of the government tasked to protect the rights and promote the welfare of OFWs and other overseas Filipinos.
Arriola said OFWs had been looking forward to getting approved.
"Since 2017 ito talaga hinihiling ng OFWs (OFWs have been asking for this.). This is not only the campaign promise fulfilled but this is a testament of leadership of the Philippines when it comes to migration," Arriola said. —NB, GMA News