President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act 21199 otherwise known as An Act Establishing the Office for Social Welfare Attache and effectively amending Republic Act No. 8042, Otherwise Known as the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995. It was signed on April 17, 2019, however, made public only on July 14.
The law mandates the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to assign Social Welfare Attaches in countries with large concentrations of OFWs. The attaches are tasked to:
- Undertake surveys and prepare official social welfare situationers on the OFWs in their designated areas.
- Establish a network with overseas-based social welfare agencies, individuals and groups which may assist the government staff during provision of social services.
- Respond to and monitor the resolution of problems and complaints or queries of OFWs and their families.
- Establish and maintain a databank and documentation of OFWs and their families so that appropriate social welfare services can be more effectively provided.
The DSWD is hereby mandated to include in its programs the implementation of the new law as its funding is included in the annual General Appropiriations Act.