Former Justice Secretary and incoming Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III has said that he will look into the feasibility of creating a new department for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) as mandated by president-elect Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
Once he assumes the new position, Bello said he will visit all countries where OFWs are employed.
In an interview with Radyong Bayan, he said:
“We cannot deny that there are a lot of labor challenges faced by OFWs, I will have to talk to these groups again, I am planning to have a periodic visitation of all the countries where the OFWs are para malaman ko ang kanilang katayuan ang pangangailangan( to know their present state, condition and needs).”
Bello also added that there will be a widespread performance audit on all DOLE employees.
“Kasi maraming reklamo (because there are a lot of complaints) against them but we also have to hear their end,” he said.
Bello has likewise scheduled meetings with labor and worker unions so they can have discussions to hear their concerns.
Of course, he also said that the biggest focus is to create more jobs for Filipinos in the country where they can enjoy basic privileges such as decent pay, secure work environment, and others.
“Our top concern here is focused in the interest and welfare of our workers. We need job creation especially locally, create more employment opportunities,” Bello pointed out.
During the campaign period, Duterte repeatedly slammed companies that practice contractualization – another important matter that Bello should work on soon.
“We have an existing law kumukontra sa contractualization but walang ngipin (against contractualization but it isn’t implemented well), we need a penal provision that can close a business if not followed, it will cause the people to comply with the law,” the upcoming secretary said.