President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a measure creating a department solely dedicated to the concerns of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

“The establishment of the Department of Migrant Workers happens on the celebration of Rizal Day, when we honor not only the exceptional love for country of Dr. Jose Rizal, but also the patriotism, excellence, courage of our modern-day heroes, including our overseas [Filipinos],” Duterte said Thursday.

Certified as an urgent bill last May, Republic Act No. 11641 will create the Department of Migrant Workers that, in effect, merges agencies that deal with matters affecting OFWs.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) will serve as its backbone, while the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) stands as an attached agency.

Some lawmakers have questioned the necessity of such department, in particular, the setup cost of over ₱1.1 billion.

Supporters, however, pointed out that this development will make providing assistance to migrant workers easier in part because of the extra focus it is bound to allot in handling the needs of this employment sector. (CNNPhilippines)

View RA 11641 here.