May 7, 2024


STATEMENT OF UNDERSECRETARY ATTY. HANS LEO J. CACDAC on his designation as Officer-in-Charge – Department of Migrant Workers

With humility, I take on this designation as the Department of Migrant Workers Officer-in-Charge (DMW-OIC).

I assume this role on a somber note, as it follows the passing of a dear friend, Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople. Having worked with her for nearly two decades to help distressed and trafficked OFWs, Sec Toots’ friendship and legacy shall shine brightly within me for as long as I live.

As we remain in grief and mourning over the loss of our dearest Secretary Toots, we adhere to her constant reminder that there is so much to be done, with so little time. Indeed, our dear OFWs expect no less from each and every one of us here at the DMW, their home in government, dito sa kanilang Tahanan ng OFW sa pamahalaan.

Guided by her work ethic and the directions she took the department in the brief time she was at its helm; we will move forward and persevere. Ultimately, we bear the honest belief that our President’s love for and overwhelming mandate from OFWs is an opportunity to develop and implement programs that shall better serve and protect them.

Among the key priorities we hope to address in the coming months include getting our proposed P15.542Bn expenditure program (the proposed DMW 2024 budget) approved by our lawmakers; strengthen the One Repatriation Command Center (ORCC) and our anti-illegal recruitment and human trafficking efforts; provide legal, medical, and humanitarian assistance through our P1.2B AKSYON Fund; continue the organization and building of our department through the establishment of all our proposed 17 regional centers and four additional Migrant Workers Offices (MWOS) overseas as well as the filling up of nearly 1,000 plantilla positions of the department; enhance our full-cycle reintegration program for OFWs providing a fitting cap to their overseas labor journey; and, continue the engagements with host countries and entering into new, more equitable bilateral arrangements that assure the rights and provide for the protection and welfare of our modern-day heroes.

The collective effort of our DMW Family will continue building and strengthening our Department — Ang Tahanan ng OFW.