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Migrant Workers Commission proposed

August 10, 2023 Jester P. Manalastas 130 views

A party-list solon is proposing the creation of a special commission for migrant workers relations issues and claims.

Kabayan Party-list Representative Ron Salo made this proposal by filing House Bill No. 8805 or the “Migrant Worker Relations Commission Act.”

According to the chairman of the House Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs, the bill seeks to establish the Migrant Worker Relations Commission (MWRC), a quasi-judicial body which shall

have jurisdiction over all claims and disputes involving Filipino migrant workers.

The MWRC shall be attached to the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW).

“The establishment of a dedicated quasi-judicial body exclusively for OFWs to ensure a more focused and streamlined approach to address their specific needs was initially proposed in the original draft creating the DMW in the House of Representatives. However, during the deliberations, it was decided that its creation be considered in a separate bill. Today, the need for such a specialized institution remains paramount,” Salo said.

Currently, the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), a quasi-judicial agency attached to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), resolves claims and disputes involving OFWs.

Considering that the NLRC handles more than 30,000 cases annually, the cases of OFWs are subjected to potential delays and backlogs.

“With the establishment of the MWRC, our OFWs are provided with a timely and fair resolution of their grievances. This expeditious process will be particularly advantageous for OFWs who must return abroad for work, allowing them to pursue their livelihoods without unnecessary delays caused by unresolved disputes,” Salo stressed.

The MWRC is structured similar to the NLRC. It will be composed of a chairman and eight commissioners divided into three divisions with three commissioners each. There shall also be Migrant Worker Arbiters and Conciliators-Mediators in arbitration branches to hear and decide cases involving OFWs or encourage them to enter into compromise agreements.