(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Wednesday, 22 September 2021) At 3:00 AM today, the Low Pressure Area (LPA) was estimated based on all data at 205 km East Northwest of Pagasa Island, Palawan (12.0°N, 115.7°E) embedded along the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) affecting Southern Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. CARAGA Region will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to ITCZ / Localized thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides due to severe thunderstorms. Light to Moderate winds coming from Southeast to east will prevail with Slight to Moderate seas/(0.6 to 2.5 meters).



Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Creation of DOFIL, OFW welfare top priority of DU30, says Nograles

The creation of a Department of Overseas Filipinos (DOFIL) that merges the functions and mandates of various offices and bureaus that address the concerns of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and Filipinos abroad is a top priority of the President, a line department formed specifically to respond to the needs and clamor of Filipinos overseas.

This was stressed by Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles at a joint hearing of the Senate committees on Labor, Employment, and Human Resources Development; Foreign Relations; Civil Service, Government Reorganization, and Professional Regulation; and Finance called to deliberate on the proposed measure.

In his opening statement, the Palace official addressed two issues regarding the creation of the DOFIL: the specific model for the proposed department and the operational set-up of the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs), Social Welfare Attaches and the Assistance to Nationals Unit (ATN Unit) under the proposed DOFIL.

Nograles pointed out that the model for the DOFIL “is uniquely Filipino and is crafted in response to the needs and clamor of the Overseas Filipino Workers.”

He reiterated that the proposed agency “brings together, under one command, all the government entities and sub-units serving Filipinos overseas, by consolidating and merging all their functions, resources, personnel, budgets, into one Department.”

This, according to the Davao native, is reflected in the operational set-up of the ATN unit, the POLOs & the Office of Social Welfare Attach├ę (SWAT) under the DOFIL.

The former legislator explained that Section 15 of Senate Bill No.1949 provides that “all programs and services for employment, community empowerment, and assistance to Filipinos in distress shall be consolidated under this onsite office of the Department, which shall be attached to Philippine Embassies and Consulates.”

The ATN Office, in particular, “shall absorb all the powers, functions, and personnel of the POLOs, ATNUs, and SWATs.”

These ATNs will have two major units: the Labor and Employment Facilitation Unit and the Welfare Assistance and Service Unit.

Among the tasks of the ATN Labor and Employment Facilitation Unit are, among others, to (1) ensure the promotion and protection of the welfare and interests of overseas Filipinos and assist them in all problems arising out of employer-employee relationships including violation of work contracts, conditions of employment such as non-payment of wages and other benefits, illegal dismissal, and other similar cases; (2) verify employment contracts and other employment-related documents; and (3) monitor and report to the Secretary situations and policy developments in the receiving country that may affect Overseas Filipinos in particular and Philippine labor policies, in general.

The Welfare Assistance and Service Unit, on the other hand, is mandated to, among others, (1) provide social and welfare programs and services to Filipino nationals, including social assistance, education and training, cultural services, financial management, reintegration, and entrepreneurial development services; (2) provide prompt and appropriate response to global emergencies or crisis situations affecting Filipino nationals; and (3) manage cases of OFWs and other Overseas Filipinos in distress needing psychosocial services, such as victims of trafficking or illegal recruitment, rape or sexual abuse, maltreatment and other forms of physical or mental abuse and cases of abandoned or neglected children. ###