DFA to continue assistance to OFWs until DMW’s full transition

Manila, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it will continue to fund assistance for overseas Filipino workers until the newly-created Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) has fully transitioned.

In a televised public briefing, DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Eduardo de Vega said Monday that the agency would still be responsible for overseas Filipinos in countries where there are no labor attachés.

De Vega said the Aksyon Fund for OFWs and the Assistance to Nationals (ATN) fund for non-OFWs abroad would be under the DFA as the DMW is still setting up its funding mechanisms in the meantime.

The DMW is still setting up its funding mechanism so what we are doing is that we will fund contract workers for the time being. We are going to have an agreement on this, we are coming out with a joint agreement with DMW. We just want to know how long the transition period will run before they can fully take over the funds,” he said.

Under Republic Act 11641 creating the DMW, the DMW should fully function two years after the law is passed, or on February 2024.

That includes POEA, which will be under the DMW. So, from verification, employment contract until assistance going abroad, repatriation,” he said.

We still have that responsibility, whether contract worker or not, for example, Filipinas in Ukraine who are married to Ukrainians,” the DFA Usec added.

Given that the DMW is a new department, de Vega said the DFA is aiding the agency in the gradual turnover of functions through training of personnel among others.

“We advise the public, don’t worry, the government is here whether its DMW or DFA, to fund your assistance,” he added.