In Photo: House of Representatives in a regular session | courtesy of ffemagazine.com

By Maria Katreena Saguid

THE HOUSE of Representatives is bound to consolidate six bills to create a department that can “provide prompt, immediate and effective response” to the needs of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs ).

According to a press release dated Nov. 10, house committees on government reorganization and overseas workers affairs agreed to form a technical working group (TWG) after it was motioned by Deputy Speaker Sharon Garin.

“There is an urgent need for a single agency that can provide a comprehensive and consolidated approach to protect their rights and interests,” 3rd District Pangasinan Rep. Rose Marie Arenas said.

Arenas, author of HB 543 which was one of the six bills to be consolidated by the TWG, added that it was time to have an agency that can take charge of the deployment and repatriation of OFWs.

The TWG, to be headed by Rep. Aniceto Bertiz III of the Alliance for Community Transformation and Service Overseas Filipino Workers (ACT-OFW) party-list, will be responsible for the consolidation of the six law proposals.

Bertiz will be joined by fellow party-list representatives, Virgilio Lacson, Ron Salo and Mark Sambar as members of the TWG.

The Department of Overseas Filipino Workers (DOFW) will ensure the overall welfare of OFWs while safeguarding their rights and attending to their needs, Lacson said.

Duterte administration ‘s labor secretary, Silvestre Bello III had recently begun an improved and more efficient and convenient way in handling concerns of OFW by establishing a one-stop shop in different parts of the country.

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