DFA supports formation of Department of Migrant Workers

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) supported the formation of the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW).

According to the DFA, having its own department for migrant workers reflects the country’s commitment to have a globally-recognized migration management system.

In a virtual presser, DFA Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola said the legislation that created the DMW is the first and is in line with the recommendation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM).

“Tayo ang kauna-unahang bansa sa buong mundo (We’re the first country in the world to enact this). We are a trailblazer and it’s the first law in the world that has the GCM in its policy. So ito talaga ‘yong (this is how) we really walk our talk,” said Arriola.

Arriola added that the DFA’s Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs (OUMWA) and other government offices that respond to the needs of Overseas Workers (OFWs) would be included in the new agency. He said there would only be a one-year transition period to avoid disruption of services for OFWs.

DFA supports formation of Department of Migrant Workers

“We at the DFA are going to fully cooperate with the transition period of one year to be able to make sure that the OUMWA’s transfer is flawless. So that’s the reason why we are also here because we are talking about the transition so that we hit the ground running and that there will be no disruption of service in the process of transition,” said Arriola.

During his recent visit to the Middle East to meet with his counterpart and other foreign officials, Qatar, Bahrain, and Arabia also supported the formation of the DMW.

Even Qatar and Arabia are ready to have a memorandum of understanding against human trafficking with the Philippines, Arriola added.

“Malaking bagay ‘yan kasi ito ‘yong main destination countries ng karamihan sa ating OFWs and this strengthens our partnership with them (This is a big deal because these are among the main destination countries of our OFWs and this strengthens our partnership with them),” said Arriola.

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