President Rodrigo Duterte signals the necessity to have a separate department for the overseas Filipinos as he certifies the urgency of the bill for its creation.
A letter dated December 15 was sent to Senate President Vicente Sotto III certifying the urgency to pass Senate Bill No. 1949 which seeks to create the Department of Overseas Filipinos.
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go filed the said bill after “a series of consultations and meetings among Executive agencies, specifically those which will be affected by the restructuring that will be occasioned by this measure, held after the filing of the first two versions.”
The bill is said to represent the unified position of the entire executive branch of government as agencies believe that the department to be created will address the most crucial problems, deliver the most important services, and achieve its goals.
Similar bills are also still pending at the Senate committee level.
In Senate Bill No. 1949, the new department will have the following functions:
1. To protect the rights and promote the welfare of the overseas Filipinos;
2. Formulate, plan, coordinate, promote, administer, and implement policies;
3. Undertake systematic national development programs for managing and monitoring of the overseas or foreign employment of Filipino workers while taking into consideration domestic manpower and human resource requirements and the need to protect the right to decent work and fair and ethical recruitment practices.