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New POEA chief assumes post

January 3, 2012 9:20am
Labor Undersecretary Hans Leo Cacdac on Monday assumed his new post as the new administrator of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

Cacdac, who replaced Carlos Cao Jr., bared a seven-point program for the agency following a turnover ceremony at the Blas F. Ople Building in Mandaluyong City.

However, Cao was not present at the ceremony. A news release from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said Cao "begged off from attending the turnover due to personal reasons."

The DOLE also said Cacdac took his oath of office as new POEA administrator before DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz as early as last week.

"The beginning of the New Year carries renewed strength and determination to pursue our roles in nation-building. As POEA administrator, I shall focus on seven priority areas under my stewardship," Cacdac said at the turnover rites.

He said his seven priority areas include:

1. Streamline OFW documentation and processing systems to provide more efficient services delivery to OFWs and regain public confidence in the POEA's systems, starting with the restoration of the POEA's ISO certification
2. Strengthen enforcement of anti-illegal recruitment laws and licensed recruitment regulations, to heighten the POEA's role in the fight against illegal recruiters;
3. Ensure transparency and accountability in the development of policies and regulations, meaning institutionalized consultative mechanisms involving stakeholders in the sea-based and land-based sectors;
4. Further protection of certain types of OFWs, such as domestic workers and seafarers, including pushing for the ratification of the ILO Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers and the Maritime Labor Convention;
5. Vigorous pursuit of bilateral agreements with receiving countries for the better protection and welfare of OFWs;
6. Stronger and more harmonious coordination with government agencies; and
7. Ensure measures that implement and promote anti-corruption, anti-fixer, anti-red tape rules and regulations, including the operationalization of the POEA Efficiency and Integrity Board.

Those present at the turnover included DOLE Undersecretary Danilo Cruz, POEA OIC Deputy Administrators Jaime Jimenez and Candida Vistro, other DOLE officials, and members of the POEA directorate.

Jimenez led the members of the directorate in turning over to Cacdac the POEA flag.

After the ceremony, Cacdac immediately convened a meeting of the POEA directorate and bared his priorities as POEA head.

Before joining government service, Cacdac served the poor and underprivileged by providing legal expertise as associate lawyer of the Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panligal (SANLIGAN), a legal resource non-governmental organization engaged in development work with women, workers, farmers and fishermen, the urban poor, and local communities.

He joined the DOLE in 2004 as executive director of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board, and moved to the POEA in 2006 as deputy administrator for licensing and adjudication, under then POEA Administrator Baldoz.

As deputy administrator, Cacdac was also in charge of the government program on illegal recruitment and the Pre-Employment Orientation Program, a flagship program of the POEA.

“He will energize the POEA for better services delivery to its clients, particularly our OFWs,” Baldoz said of Cacdac.

Before his assumption as POEA chief, Cacdac was DOLE undersecretary for labor relations, where he represented the Philippines in the the 100th ILO Conference in Geneva in June 2010.

At the ILO conference, he steered to conclusion the work of the International Labor Organization's Committee on Domestic Workers that ended almost two weeks of continuous serious debate on the provisions of the Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers and its accompanying Recommendation.

The international instrument was later overwhelmingly adopted by the ILO Conference.

The DOLE described Cacdac as a skilled and eloquent public speaker and a prodigious writer, having been published law publications, such as the Journal of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the Philippine Journal of Industrial Relations, and the Ateneo Law Journals.

He obtained a master's degree in comparative law with focus on international trade and workers' rights from the Cumberland School of Law of Stanford University.

Also, he taught law at the Ateneo de Manila from where he obtained his law degree, and studied at the University of Durham in England.

He has represented the Philippine government in many international meetings and conferences. - VVP, GMA News
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