SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go lauded the renewed call of President Rodrigo Duterte for the creation of an executive department that will focus on the needs and concerns of overseas Filipinos.
In his Talk to the People aired on Tuesday, October 27, Duterte said that he is hoping for the establishment of the Department of Overseas Filipinos that would immediately address the needs of overseas Filipino workers.
“There will be a more thorough review of policies for your protection,” Duterte said during his address.
The President added that he is considering coming up with another agency for seafarers.
Meanwhile, Go praised Duterte’s pronouncements, saying that putting all overseas Filipinos concerns in just one department will be easier for them to seek assistance and services for all their needs.
“Nagpapasalamat po tayo sa panibagong panawagan ng Pangulo para sa pagtatag ng Department of Overseas Filipinos,” Go said.
“Mas maisasaayos ang mga programa at serbisyo ng gobyerno para matulungan ang mga apektadong Pilipino kung mayroong sariling departamento na mamamahala sa mga pangangailangan ng mga OFWs,” he added.
Go has also firmly suggested the need to establish the DOOF because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and to improve government efficiency and effectiveness in the provision of necessary services from deployment.
“Ngayon na napilitan silang umuwi dahil sa krisis, dapat lang bigyan ng sapat na atensyon ang kanilang mga pangangailangan para matulungan ang ating mga bagong bayani na makabangon muli,” he said.
Filed by Go last July 2019, Senate Bill No. 202 seeks to create the DOOF to improve the delivery of government services to Filipinos abroad by bringing together and streamlining the relevant services scattered across various national agencies.
Once established, the DOOF will protect the rights and promote the welfare of overseas Filipinos; formulate, plan, coordinate, promote, administer, and implement policies; and undertake systematic national development programs for managing and monitoring the overseas or foreign employment of Filipino workers, among others.
“Importante klaro po ang mandato nito at ‘di mag-overlap sa ibang ahensya, tulad ng DOLE at DFA,” Go previously said.
Duterte has twice called on Congress to pass the priority measure during his 2019 and 2020 State of the Nation Addresses as he recognized the significant contribution of the overseas Filipinos to the country’s economy and emphasizing the need to serve and protect them better.
“Bigyan natin ng importansya na magkaroon ng opisina para sa kanila, para may magtitimon sa kanila, magga-guide sa mga OFWs. Bigyan natin sila ng importansya. Tawag natin sa kanila bagong bayani. Totohanin natin,” he said.###