President Rodrigo Duterte has certified as urget the Senate measure to a create a separate department for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday afternoon said that Duterte certified as urgent Senate Bill 2234 also known as “An Act Creating the Department of Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos.”
Duterte has repeatedly called for the creation of a separate department that would handle concerns of OFWs in his previous state of the nation addresses, which Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has strongly backed.
“The Chief Executive has likewise certified as urgent Senate Bill No. 2234, entitled ‘An Act Creating the Department of Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos,’ to provide a more efficient, whole-of-government approach to protect the rights and promote the welfare and interest of overseas Filipinos,” Roque said.
If passed into law, SB 2234 would turn the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration into the Department of Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos (DMWOF), which would be mandated to oversee all policies protecting the welfare of Filipinos abroad.
The functions of other agencies currently under several government departments handling different concerns of overseas Filipinos would be merged and transferred under DMWOF.
SB 2234 is among the bills the Senate wants to pass on final reading before the sine die adjournment of Congress on June 5.
Duterte also certified as urgent SB 2232 also known as “An Act Taxing Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations.”
Roque said Duterte expressed hope that the measure would not only generate the much-needed revenues in the country but also place the industry under stricter government oversight.
If passed into law, SB 2232 can generate additional revenues that can exceed the PHP7.18 billion collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) from POGOs last year.
Currently, around 60 POGO operators have secured licenses to operate in the Philippines. SOVEREIGNPH