Press Release
May 31, 2021

Bong Go stresses urgent need to pass Department of Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos bill, says PRRD to certify this as urgent

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go is seeking the support of his fellow lawmakers regarding the passage of Senate Bill No. 2234 which, if passed, will establish the Department of Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos. Authored and co-sponsored by Go, the bill is a consolidated version of his earlier proposed measure that aims to create the Department of Overseas Filipinos.

Go also disclosed that he discussed the same with President Rodrigo Duterte in a bid to have the consolidated version be certified as urgent. The earlier version has been certified as urgent by the President.

"Isa po ito sa ipinakiusap ko sa Senate leadership na pag-usapan na i-certify as urgent. Ipinaalam ko rin kay Pangulo at inaasahan ko na mapipirmahan ng Pangulo at maisalang na agad, mapag-usapan na sa plenaryo, dahil matagal na po ito," shared Go during a radio interview.

The Senator said that overseas Filipinos need to have a department of their own that would cater to their needs and concerns and unburden them of the challenges caused by various global crises. At the same time, this is in recognition of their sacrifices for their families and contributions to the economy as modern day heroes.

"Ako po, kahit anong pangalan, basta kapakanan ng mga kababayan natin ang importante dito. 'Di nababayaran ang lungkot, napakahirap mapalayo sa pamilya. Maikli lang ang buhay ng tao, napapalayo ka sa pamilya, napakalungkot pero kailangan nilang magtrabaho sa abroad," he said.

"Bigyan na natin sila ng departamento, malaking tulong sila sa ekonomiya. I'm appealing po sa mga kasamahan ko, ipasa na natin ito. Para naman ito sa mga overseas Filipinos," he added.

Filed on Tuesday, May 25, SBN 2234 is sponsored by Senator Joel Villanueva and co-sponsored by Senators Go and Ramon Revilla Jr.

The proposed department will be primarily mandated to formulate, recommend and implement national policies, plans, programs and guidelines that protect overseas Filipinos, including OFWs, as well as promote their interests and resolve issues concerning them in a timely and effective manner.

The DMWOF will be responsible for providing all relevant social and welfare services, including insurance, social work assistance and legal assistance, as well as administer reintegration and social service programs to overseas Filipinos. It shall also provide Assistance to Nationals services, especially during times of national emergencies, such as pandemic or war.

"Bagong bayani kung ituring natin sila. Sana naman, suklian natin ang kanilang sakripisyo ng mas maayos at mabilis na serbisyo," said Go in previous statements.

He affirmed the need for the establishment of a new department with an internal organization that allows the State to carry out its functions and mandates more efficiently and more responsive to the needs of concerned sectors amid challenging times.

"Matagal na ako sa serbisyo publiko. Mahigit dalawang dekada akong nanilbihan kay Pangulong Duterte. Alam ko na kung watak watak ang mga ahensya, hindi ganun kabilis at maayos ang serbisyo ng gobyerno," noted Go.

He argued that Congress must act quickly to streamline functions, improve coordination and make government more responsive to the needs of millions of overseas Filipinos who must contend with the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 crisis and global economic downturn, among others.

Go expressed concern over the inefficiencies and inconveniences that occur should the bureaucracy continue to remain in its current state which affects the ability of the whole government to respond appropriately and deliver in a timely manner the assistance needed by constituents.

Once certified again as urgent by the President, Go said that bill may pass the Senate floor before the State of the Nation Address of Duterte in July.

"Hopefully po, maipasa po agad ito dahil kung mace-certify ito ng Pangulo, pwede na itong mapag-usapan ngayong linggo. At by the time na mag-SONA sa July 26, maging batas na ito," explained Go.

"Hopefully, tulungan tayo ng mga kasamahan natin (sa Senado)," he added.

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