Sat. Jan 29th, 2022

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Tuesday lauded his colleagues’ approval of the legislation creating a Department of Migrant Workers, a move which he said inches closer toward fulfilling one of the campaign promises of the Duterte administration to improve the condition of the overseas labor force.

(manilatimes.net)

The bill, certified urgent by Malacañang in May, seeks to consolidate into a single coherent office the agencies which attend to the needs of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

“This bill is not just part of the legacy of the Duterte administration but also of this Congress,” Go, one of the bills’ co-authors, said in his manifestation speech.

He also thanked Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resource Development chair, Senator Joel Villanueva, for working for the bill’s passage.

“I just want to congratulate and thank the hardworking sponsor, Senator Joel Villanueva, for pushing for the passage of this measure. He has been working hard in working for a department for our OFWs. I have seen what he has gone through, in negotiating with different agencies and OFW groups, as well as reconciling versions of the bill,” Go said partly in Filipino.

Once Senate Bill No. 2234, or the proposed Department of Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act, is enacted into law, Go said it will lessen or totally eradicate the burden of OFWs, including red tape.

“The time when OFWs go to different government offices will be a thing of the past, of calling out for assistance on social and mainstream media. This department will be an important step to ensure the government will be able to address OFWs’ needs effectively in appreciation for your service to the country,” Go said in Filipino.

Executive Order No. 154 also directed the establishment of a 100-bed OFW hospital in the City of San Fernando in Pampanga.

The kickoff ceremony was held in November last year and the start of construction made possible with the P500-million donation of Bloomberry Cultural Foundation, Inc. and P300 million from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation for the purchase of state-of-the-art medical equipment. 

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