House panel OKs measure creating social welfare office for overseas Filipino workers

A House panel approved a measure seeking to create office of social welfare attache for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

The House Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs chaired by ANGKLA Party-list Rep. Jesulito Manalo  saw the need to amend the Republic Act (RA) No. 8042 or “Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995.”

The bill, principally authored by Deputy Speaker Linabelle Ruth Villarica and Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, mandates the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to deploy social welfare attache in countries with large concentration of OFWs, as determined in coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE).

As provided in the bill, the social welfare attache shall possess the minimum qualifications set by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and the preferred qualifications prescribed by the DSWD.

It shall be the duty of the social welfare attache at the overseas post to manage cases of OFWs needing psychological services and overseas Filipinos in distress, such as victims of trafficking or illegal recruitment, sexually-abused, maltreated or mistreated overseas Filipinos, abandoned or neglected children and other vulnerable sectors.

Likewise, the social service attache shall undertake surveys and prepare official social welfare situationers on the OFWs in the area of assignment.