(File photo)

MANILA – Incoming Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Secretary Susan Ople wants to hasten the processing of the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), a labor official said on Monday.

“That is one of her marching orders. We look at the efficiency of the delivery of services to OFWs. So the ease of doing business is our current focus. How to facilitate the processing, especially the approval of documents, for example. In the next few days, especially when the new secretary of DMW enters, expect that there will be changes,” Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) chief Bernard Olalia said in a Laging Handa briefing.

Olalia added that the POEA continues to be in operation under a two-year transition period which started in February.

“We have finished IRR (implementing rules and regulations), the staffing pattern has been submitted, including the 2023 budget, but for now the POEA is still there because that's what Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said -- until DMW is fully constituted. This means the status quo is still there and the POEA will remain and will continue to provide services to the OFWs,” Olalia added.

He assured that the services of the agencies will not be disrupted while they are in the transition period.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11641 in December 2021 which created the DMW.

President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. named Ople to the DMW post in May. She will replace Abdullah Mama-O, who was appointed by Duterte in March.

Aside from POEA, the other agencies that will be part of the DMW are the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, National Maritime Polytechnic, and the International Labor Affairs Bureau -- all of which are currently under the Department of Labor and Employment -- and the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (OUMWA), currently under the Department of Foreign Affairs. (PNA)