The Department of Migrant Workers Philippines is a government agency tasked with providing assistance to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). This department was established in 2017 under Executive Order No. 56, and it has been effective in aiding OFWs since then. While there are several ways that the Department of Migrant Workers provides assistance to OFW families and individuals, one of its key functions is processing labor contracts and facilitating international recruitment services so that Filipinos can find jobs abroad successfully.
Also Read: Difference Between POEA vs DOLE vs OWWA vs POLO
The said department will oversee everything related to OFWs in a holistic and unified approach. This article will explain what the Department of Migrant Workers does for Filipino workers abroad and how this department helps them out when they encounter problems overseas. Keep on reading to learn more.
Everything You Need to Know About the First-Ever Department of Migrant Workers Philippines
As you may have heard, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed the much-awaited Executive Order creating the Department of Migrant Workers in the Philippines back October 5, 2017. It is an agency intended to protect and improve the rights of Filipino migrants around the world. That being said, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about the first-ever Department of Migrant Workers Philippines.
What is the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW)?
The Department of Migrant Workers Philippines (DMWP) is the only government agency mandated to protect and promote the rights of OFWs, or Overseas Filipino Workers. It was created by virtue of Republic Act No. 10868, which was signed into law on May 23, 2019 by President Rodrigo Duterte
The DMWP will be headed by a Secretary who will be appointed by the President and serve for a term of no more than three years. The Secretary will be assisted by two Undersecretaries, an Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs and Special Concerns, an Assistant Secretary for Migrant Welfare Concerns/Welfare Assistance Division/Office , one Chief Administrative Officer/Deputy Administrator; four (4) Deputy Managers; five (5) Managers; twenty-one (21) Supervisors; thirty-nine (39) Senior Officers; ninety-four (94) Officers I; fifty-five (55) Officers II ; and one hundred fifty-five (155) Support Staff.
The DMWP will have the following Divisions: Administration and Finance, Planning and Coordination, Legal Affairs and Special Concerns, Migrant Welfare Concerns/Welfare Assistance Division/Office, Investigation and Enforcement, Public Assistance and Services. These Divisions will be headed by a Division Manager who will be assisted by a Deputy Division Manager and the necessary number of staff.
What are some other functions of the Department of Migrant Workers Philippines?
The DOLE-MCI is mandated to provide assistance to OFWs who are victims of abuse and illegal recruitment.
They also help OFWs who are victims of human trafficking, which is a form of modern slavery that involves the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of exploitation. This includes forced labor and prostitution.
The DOLE-MCI works closely with other government offices such as the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Immigration (BI), Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) and various non-government organizations (NGOs) in ensuring this support for distressed workers abroad.
Who benefits from the Department of Migrant Workers Philippines?
The Department of Migrant Workers provides vital services to migrant workers and their families. The department offers counseling and legal services, as well as education and training programs. The department also works to improve working conditions for migrant workers and to protect their rights. The department’s work benefits not only migrant workers, but also their families and communities. By ensuring that migrant workers are treated fairly and have access to essential services, the department makes a positive contribution to society as a whole.
What Programs and Services can OFWs Expect from the Department of Migrant Workers?
The Department of Migrant Workers offers various programs and services to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). These include the following:
Livelihood programs to help OFWs start their own businesses or expand their existing businesses.
One of its popular programs is Livelihood Programs for OFWs (LPO). This program aims to help OFWs start their own businesses or expand their existing businesses. The LPO provides assistance in terms of funding, training, and marketing assistance to ensure that you have a successful business.
Training programs on entrepreneurship, financial management, and other topics to help OFWs become more successful in their businesses.
The department also offers training programs on entrepreneurship, financial management, and other topics to help OFWs become more successful in their businesses. The department’s goal is to help OFWs become less dependent on their families back home by providing them with skills that will allow them to become more independent.
Career counseling services to help OFWs find new employment opportunities or make a successful transition to a new career.
The DMW also offers counseling on financial management and entrepreneurship development for overseas workers who wish to start their own business once they return home.
Legal assistance services to help OFWs with their employment-related problems, such as contract disputes and violations.
The Department of Migrant Workers is tasked with conducting legal assistance services to help OFWs with their employment-related problems, such as contract disputes and violations. It also provides assistance in resolving issues related to recruitment, deployment, repatriation, promotion and protection against abuse, exploitation, harassment and discrimination.
Welfare services to help OFWs in times of need, such as during medical emergencies or when they are stranded abroad.
For example, it provides financial assistance for families whose breadwinners have died or become disabled abroad. It also provides emergency funds for OFWs who wish to return home from their host countries due to personal problems or natural disasters in those countries.
The DMW also supports workers by providing them with information on their rights and responsibilities as migrants, including legal advice on issues related to employment contracts, salary discrepancies, and other concerns that may arise while working abroad. The agency also helps workers find employment opportunities abroad through its Overseas Employment Services Office (OESO), which is part of its Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). These are just some of the programs and services that the Department of Migrant Workers offers to OFWs. For more information, please visit the department’s website or contact their hotline.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Department of Migrant Workers of the Philippines (DMWP) was established with the goal of defending the legal rights of Filipino migrant workers and looking out for their well-being. Through its many different services and initiatives, the DMWP offers help to migrant workers from the Philippines as well as the families of those employees. The DMWP also strives to settle cases of abuse and exploitation of Filipino migrant workers and takes measures to prevent such incidents from occurring. The following are some of the questions that are asked most frequently about the new department that is solely devoted to serving the best interests of overseas Filipino workers and other relevant stakeholders:
Why do we need an agency devoted exclusively to migrant workers?
Our country is made up of many different ethnic groups, with diverse cultural backgrounds. Our economy depends on the labor of our own people and the labor of migrants from other countries. We welcome those who come to work here legally, but we also want to encourage people to come here legally.
We have so many migrant workers in our country because they are needed to help build our economy. They come here looking for better paying jobs and opportunities for their families. In fact, there are over 2 million Filipinos working abroad as OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers). Many of them send money back home which helps support their families and communities.
The Department of Migrant Workers is the first agency in the Philippines specifically created to serve our country’s migrant workers. It is tasked with promoting their welfare and protecting their rights, as well as ensuring that they are fully integrated into Philippine society.
Apart from having a Department, what more should be done to protect and uplift the quality of life and well-being of OFWs?
While there has been a lot of talk about the Department of Migrant Workers Affairs, we should also be mindful that this is only the first step in ensuring that our OFWs are protected and uplifted.
The creation of this department is indeed a welcome development and a chance for the government to show its commitment towards the welfare of our people working abroad. But apart from having a Department, what more should be done to protect and uplift the quality of life and well-being of OFWs?
Here are some ways that we can help our OFWs:
- Promote social integration through legislation on migrant workers’ rights
- Create policies that promote social inclusion by giving equal opportunities for migrants as citizens in their host countries
- Ensure that their rights are protected through international agreements such as the Convention on Migrant Workers Rights (CMWR) which aims to protect migrant workers from abuse, exploitation and discrimination while at work abroad
What are the main differences between OWWA and POLO (Philippine Overseas Labor Offices) in terms of their functions?
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, also known as OWWA for short, is a government body that offers assistance to overseas workers and the families of those workers. It was established on November 21, 1973, by Executive Order No. 1, while Ferdinand Marcos was serving as president of the Philippines.
DOLE Order No. 76-A was issued in 1978, and it was in accordance with this order that the administration of OWWA was handed over to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is the name that was given to the organisation after it was rebranded in the year 1988.
In contrast, POLOs, which stand for Philippine Overseas Labor Offices, are offices that are affiliated to Philippine embassies across the world. OFWs can apply for visas at these offices before to departing for employment outside of the Philippines.
The primary distinction between OWWA and POLO is that the former assists overseas Filipino workers after they have already gone for work in another country, whilst the latter solely assists overseas Filipino workers in the process of obtaining visas to work in other countries.
What is the difference between OWWA and DOLE?
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is in charge of all issues pertaining to labour relations, whereas the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is a government organisation that offers social assistance to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families.
The primary mission of the Overseas Employees Welfare Administration (OWWA) is to offer social security and medical support to Filipino workers who are employed outside of the country as well as to the families of those workers. This includes providing them with financial assistance in the event that they become ill or lose their jobs as a result of an accident, a natural disaster, or any other circumstances that are beyond their control.
Additionally, it facilitates the sending of remittances back to one’s home province by utilising its network of accredited banks and financial institutions located throughout the entirety of the country.
How does the DMWP relate to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) or Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)?
The Department of Migrant Workers Philippines (DMWP) was created by virtue of Executive Order No. 18, Series of 2019, signed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. It is the government’s first-ever department that aims to protect the rights and welfare of Filipino workers abroad.
The DMWP is placed under the Office of the President, with Secretary Enrique Manalo as its head. It will be tasked to coordinate efforts between all agencies involved in overseas employment and migrant workers’ welfare.
How does the DMWP relate to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) or Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)?
The POEA and OWWA are still separate from the DMWP but will be tasked to implement policies and programs developed by this new agency.
What are the existing agencies that implement migrant worker policies and programs of the Philippine Government?
The Philippine government’s policies and initiatives pertaining to migrant workers are mostly carried out by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
The following is a list of some of the extant agencies in the Philippines that are responsible for putting the policies and initiatives regarding migrant workers into effect:
Overseas Employees Welfare Administration (OWWA) is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), which is responsible for managing the recruitment of Filipino workers for employment abroad. Additionally, the Department of Foreign Affairs is in charge of the recruiting, deployment, and repatriation of foreign employees both into and out of the country.
Oversees social protection services for vulnerable overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), providing support in the event that OFWs run into issues while working outside of the country. This department is known as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
OFWs who have sustained injuries or developed illnesses while working abroad are eligible to get medical treatment from the Department of Health (DOH).
Are there other departments and agencies mandated by law to implement migrant policies?
The Department of Migrant Workers of the Philippines (abbreviated as DMW-Phil) was the first government agency in the Philippines to be assigned with the responsibility of implementing policies for Filipinos working abroad (OFWs).
In accordance with Executive Order No. 42, which President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law on February 27, 2019, the Department of Migrant Workers of the Philippines (DMW-Phil) was established with the responsibility of putting in place regulations regarding migrant workers.
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) and the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency are other two examples of government organizations. The Bureau of Immigration is responsible for ensuring that overseas Filipino workers comply with immigration regulations, while the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) is in charge of providing recruitment services and ensuring that businesses comply with labour laws.
How does the DMW coordinate with other government agencies?
The objective of establishing the Department of Migrant Workers was to centralise and coordinate the various aid programmes that are available to overseas workers. In addition to this, it seeks to improve the accessibility, efficacy, and efficiency of the services provided to OFWs.
The Department of Migrant Worker (DMW), in addition to cooperating with other government agencies, is tasked with the responsibility of overseeing the establishment of policies regarding migrant workers, as well as the regulation of recruitment agencies and deployment agencies.
In addition to this, it will create a database of workers who have been transferred to a foreign country or who have returned home after working overseas. The authorities would be able to more easily locate absent personnel and keep tabs on individuals who have left the nation with this information.
Video: What are the Priorities of the Department of Migrant Workers?
Susan ‘Toots’ Ople, the newly appointed department secretary, discusses some of the Department’s top priorities in the video interview that was recently released. Protecting Filipino workers overseas and ensuring their well-being will be the main concern of the individual Marcos junior appoints to the position of Secretary for Migrant Workers. In addition to this, the Secretary will seek to enhance the working conditions of Filipino employees and give them the opportunity to earn higher salaries.
The Department of Migrant Workers Philippines is a welcome development for the country’s Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), who have long been in dire need of a government agency that could address their concerns and provide them with support. The DOLE has already proven itself as one such agency by providing an array of services, programs and resources that cater specifically to migrant workers’ needs. I look forward to seeing how the Department continues on this path in order to better serve its constituency!
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