FORMER Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has said the newly approved Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Act will ensure ethical recruitment for overseas workers so that the issues related to their recruitment, employment, and deployment are addressed and regulated.
“Kasi ‘pag desperado o maraming economic crisis, maraming mga recruiter na nanloloko din o maraming mga employer din. O kaya, sa mga bansa na medyo hirap sa karapatan ng migrant workers, naaapi talaga. So, I wanted to make sure na yung ethical recruitment, nandiyan sa bagong batas,” Cayetano said.
Cayetano had filed the bill creating the new department as senator in 2017, and while that did not make it into law, he filed a similar bill in the House of Representatives in 2019. As Speaker, he led the House in passing the measure in March 2020.
It was finally signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on December 30, 2021.
“I think una tayo sa buong mundo na ilagay ‘yun sa batas and magkaroon ng departamento para sa Migrant Workers,” Cayetano said
“At the heart of this bill is ethical recruitment,” he added.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) are to continue their mandate of looking after the rights of migrant workers during the transitory period and prevent any untoward action or exploitation.
At the same time, Cayetano warned Filipinos to be wary of overseas job offers that are “too good to be true” so they will not end up being illegally recruited.
Cayetano said the President can already appoint a Secretary to the DMW in the coming weeks but added that it will take time to set up the department itself. The law mandates that the Department must be completed within two years from the effectivity of the Act.