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An urgent legislation

Bicycle Day

PEOPLE cannot overemphasize the importance of setting up of a new department that will handle the “concerns” of overseas Filipinos (OFs), particularly our migrant workers.

Many quarters acknowledge that there’s now that urgent need to hasten the establishment of the Department of Overseas Filipinos (DOOF) as proposed by Sen. Christopher “Bong” T. Go.

Nobody will argue with those pushing for the creation of the DOOF that the presence “problematic” OFs, including those languishing in jails, worries the government and the people.

In batting for the establishment of the new department, Go said that “let’s not forget that we have over 10 million overseas Filipinos,” which is about 10 percent of the country’s population.

Of course, the billions of dollar remittances of our migrant workers, many of them in Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich Middle East countries, help prop up the struggling domestic economy

The 24-member Philippine Senate is set to discuss on December 7, Monday, Go’s Senate Bill (SB) 1835, which calls for the setting up of DOOF, a priority measure of President Duterte.

SB 1835 has been endorsed by the Office of the Cabinet Secretary and the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office to the Senate committee on labor, employment and human resources development.

At present, the responsibilities pertaining to overseas Filipinos are scattered among numerous offices, including the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Labor and Employment, Commission on Overseas Filipinos, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Under the bill, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) will become attached agencies of DOOF.

Undoubtedly, the creation of the proposed DOOF will be good for the country and the Filipino people.