DFA, DOLE seek to integrate OFW programs

MANILA Officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Labor and Employment met on Friday to discuss the integration of programs for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

As of this posting, the closed-door Inter-Agency Coordination Meeting on OFW Concerns is ongoing, but Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said its conclusion will "guide" the Cabinet on the creation of a special cluster for OFWs or a working group under an existing one.

"The president want us to report through this working group then I will report to the (Cabinet's) Human Development Cluster. The president will decide later on if (there will be) an OFW cluster," he said in his opening speech.

Cayetano said the meeting will try to collate all government agencies' "lone OFW programs" such as training, granting of special lanes, and livelihood projects.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, meanwhile, said he is "hopeful" that the inter-agency's first meeting will produce such system and will soon "optimize" the government's services for OFWs.

Joining Cayetano and Bello at the meeting were DFA Undersecretaries Sarah Lou Arriola and Ernesto Abella, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration chief Hans Leo Cacdac, and other government officials from different agencies. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency