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Ople says an office of DMW is dedicated to OFW repatriation

An office in the newly-created Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) will receive requests for the repatriation of OFWs, Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople said Sunday.

In a Super Radyo dzBB interview, Ople said she already talked with Overseas Workers Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Hanz Leo Cadac regarding the matter.

“Napag-usapan na namin na isang opisina na lang within the department ang tatanggap ng request for repatriation” (We agreed that only one office within the department will accept the requests for repatriation), she said.

“Ilalabas namin this week ano ‘yung mga numerong pwedeng tawagan or sa Facebook page kung paano sila maka-get in-touch sa One Repatriation Command Center,” she added.

(We will release this week what the numbers can be contacted or how they can get in-touch with the One Repatriation Command Center (ORCC) through Facebook.)

Ople earlier announced the establishment of the ORCC that will facilitate the repatriation of all OFWs who need to go home from abroad.

Anti-illegal recruitment TF

Further, Ople pointed out that the DMW will have a zero-tolerance policy for illegal recruiters and human traffickers.

To achieve this, she noted she will lead the DMW-Task Force Against Illegal Recruitment and Trafficking in Persons (TF-AIRTIP).

“In fact last Friday, may mga lumapit na sa amin na ‘yung anak niya ay biktima ng human trafficking sa Cambodia. So, ‘yun ang mga kaso na tatalakayin ng task force,” she pointed out.

(In fact, last Friday, some people approached us saying that his son was a victim of human trafficking in Cambodia. So, ‘those are the cases that the task force will discuss.)

Ople noted that she already asked Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla to develop plans on how they could get the task force up and running.

Currently, the country has the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking which is tasked to prevent and suppress trafficking in persons. It is led by the DOJ.

Migrant Offices

On the other hand, Ople said the agency’s Migrant Workers Offices (MWO) have not yet been established, pending approval of the proposed budget for the 2023 General Appropriations Act (GAA).

“Hindi pa nakatatag ang MWOs dahil hinihintay pa namin 'yung approval ng staffing pattern ng DBM (Department of Budget and Management) at hinihintay namin na maisama kami sa 2023 GAA,” she said.

“Sana by early next year, kumpleto na ang mga Migrant Workers Office sa iba't ibang bansa,” she furthered.

(We expect that by early next year, the Migrant Workers Offices in various countries will be completed.) —LBG, GMA News