OES reviewing IRR for Dept. of Migrant Workers: Andanar

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The Office of the Executive Secretary (OES) is reviewing the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for Republic Act (RA) No. 1164 or the Act Creating the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), Malacañang said on Tuesday.

Acting presidential spokesperson Martin Andanar made this remark after members of the DMW transition committee said it had already submitted to the Palace a draft of the IRR for the DMW.

“Ito’y nire-review pa ng (It is still being reviewed by the) Office of the Executive Secretary,” Andanar said in a Palace press briefing.

The DMW transition committee released a memorandum dated April 4 asking President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to nullify the IRR issued by DMW Secretary Abdullah Mama-o.

“We respectfully advise His Excellency that this IRR is not the same IRR that was the product of the Transition Committee as a collegial body as mandated by RA 11641 and all the undersigned had no participation whatsoever in the crafting of the same. Neither have the undersigned approved nor signed the said IRR,” the group said.

According to the DMW transition committee, the IRR signed by Mama-o by his own sole action is “irregular” and thus not an effective IRR under the provisions of the law.

“The IRR should not be allowed to be published to prevent any derogation of the spirit and intent of the law,” the group said.

The memorandum was signed by representatives of different member agencies led by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) chief Bernard Olalia.

In a letter dated April 5, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea told Mama-o that the POEA continues to function as an independent agency despite the creation of the DMW since the latter has not been fully constituted.

“Considering that the DMW has not been constituted yet, it follows that the government entities or agencies enumerated in Section 19 of RA 11641 shall continue to exist separately and perform their respective mandates until DMW is constituted,” he said.

Under RA 11641, among the responsibilities of the transition committee are the formulation of the necessary IRR of the department “within 60 days” after the law’s effectivity.

RA 11641, signed by Duterte on Dec. 30, 2021, turns the POEA into the DMW, which would then be tasked with overseeing all policies protecting the welfare of Filipinos working abroad.

The new department improves coordination among all relevant agencies concerned with overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and OFW affairs.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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