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POEA: The Department of Migrant Workers will be operational by 2023.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said on Thursday that the newly constituted Department of Migrant Workers will begin operations in 2023.

In a Laging Handa briefing on Thursday, POEA chief Bernard Olalia said, “They have a so-called transition period, two years have been allowed by law for the movement of agencies to the new Department of Migrant Workers, and during this transition period, a transition committee will be constituted.”

The committee, according to Olalia, is in charge of creating the department’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR), organizational structure, and staffing pattern.

The committee will also propose a budget for the department for the year 2023.

It will be made up of officials from the POEA, the Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs or UMWA; the Department of Labor and Employment’s Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO(sad) National Reintegration Center for OFWs, National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP); and the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Office of National Social Welfare Attaché (OSWA) (DSWD).

“The goal of this department is to enhance the help they should receive and speed service delivery to them, to unify all of our agencies, our inter-agencies that have a responsibility for the protection and promotion of our OFWs,” Olalia continued.

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB), both DOLE-affiliated entities, will also be part of the newly formed department.

Employees of these agencies, on the other hand, should not be concerned, as they would be absorbed by the new office, according to Olalia.

“Your budget appropriation, all of your people, and all of your resources will be integrated.” Don’t worry about the personnel or staff of the aforementioned agencies; they will be assumed. “All of these agencies will be consolidated and merged,” he stated.

“All of the appropriations and budgets of the agencies I described earlier will be the budget of the new department,” the POEA chairman stated, citing the wording of the adopted bill.

The new agency was established by President Rodrigo Duterte’s signing of Republic Act 11641 on December 30.

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