FORMER Senator Jinggoy Estrada today on January 12, 2022 vowed to ensure sufficient funding for the newly-created Department of Migrant Workers once reelected to the Philippine Senate in May 2022.
Signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte before Christmas, Estrada said the measure creating a full-fledged department for migrant workers “deserves all-out support” to protect the rights and welfare of millions of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and those aspiring to work abroad.
“Akmang akma ang pagkaka-lagda ni Pangulong Duterte ng Republic Act No. 11641 o ang batas na nagtatatag ng isang Kagawaran na tututok at mangangalaga sa kapakanan at kabutihan ng Filipino migrant workers (The signing of Republic Act No. 11641 by President Duterte is timely as it creates a department that caters exclusively to the needs and welfare of Filipino migrant workers),” Estrada said.
The former Senator from San Juan said the new department plays a critical role in regulating recruitment, employment and deployment of OFWs. The agency is also empowered to investigate and file cases related to illegal recruitment and human trafficking of OFWs.
A champion of workers’ rights, Estrada stressed that the creation of the Department of Migrant Workers is a realization of a longtime dream to strengthen and enhance OFW protection.
“Tinaguriang makabagong bayani ang ating mga OFWs dahil sa patuloy nilang pagpapakita ng katatagan, kagalingan, lakas ng loob, pagmamahal sa pamilya at pagtulong sa pagpapaunlad ng bansa sa gitna ng mga pagsubok na kanilang kinakaharap sa ibayong dagat (Our OFWs are considered modern heroes for their grit, excellence, courage, love of family and valuable contributions to nation-building amidst the many challenges they face abroad),” he stressed.
Estrada, who is eyeing a fresh Senate term under the Bongbong Marcos-Sara Duterte ticket, is a known advocate of workers’ rights. He served for 12 years as chairman of the Senate Labor Committee and was principal author and co-author of many bills protecting Filipino workers. He was principal author of the ‘Kasambahay Law’, or the law promoting the interests and welfare of domestic helpers in the Philippines. Republic Act 10361, or simply “Kasambahay Law”, prescribed standards, privileges and rights of domestic workers.
The eldest son of former President Joseph Estrada, he served in the Philippine Senate from 2004 to 2016 under the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP).