Incoming Department of Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople wants to hasten the processing of the deployment of overseas Filipino workers, a labor official said Monday.
Philippine Overseas Employment Administration chief Bernard Olalia added the deployment of medical workers will continue until the end of 2022, despite reports of a lack of health workers in most hospitals in the country.
“That is one of her marching orders. We look at the efficiency of the delivery of services to OFWs. So, the ease of doing business is our current focus. How to facilitate the processing, especially the approval of documents, for example,” Olalia said.
“In the next few days, especially when the new secretary of DMW enters, expect that there will be changes,” he added.
Olalia said the POEA continues to be in operation under a two-year transition period which started in February.
“We have finished the implementing rules and regulations, the staffing pattern has been submitted, including the 2023 budget, but for now the POEA is still there because that’s what Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said—until the DMW is fully constituted,” he said.
“This means the status quo is still there and the POEA will remain and will continue to provide services to the OFWs,” Olalia added.
He assured that the services of the agencies will not be disrupted while they are in the transition period.
Ople will replace Abdullah Mama-O as DMW head.
Aside from POEA, the other agencies that will be part of the DMW are the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, National Maritime Polytechnic, and the International Labor Affairs Bureau—all of which are currently under the Department of Labor and Employment—and the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (OUMWA), currently under the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Meanwhile, Olalia said more than 2,000 healthcare workers have been deployed abroad this year, which is still quite far from reaching the 7,500 yearly deployment cap.
The POEA official assured a high supply of local nurses because the Professional Regulation Commission has already held two exams.
“In case the cap will be breached, we will set meetings with those in charge,” he added.