MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will formally turn over on July 1 its assistance-to-nationals (ATN) functions for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), a ranking official announced Wednesday.
In a press briefing, DFA Undersecretary Eduardo Jose de Vega said this covers both documented and undocumented OFWs.
“In those countries where they do have attaches (migrant workers offices or MWOs), all request for assistance for OFWs will go to the DMW,” he said.
De Vega clarified that the PHP1 billion ATN fund of the DFA would remain and all assistance for OFWs, including legal or medical assistance, repatriation and shipment of remains would be funded by the DMW’s separate AKSYON Fund.
The DFA said the countries with resident MWOs, formerly known as POLO or Philippine Overseas Labor Office, are the following: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, China (including Hong Kong, Macau), Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Bahrain, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.
In the case of OFWs employed in countries where there are no resident MWOs, De Vega said the DFA would continue providing them assistance through its ATN and legal assistance fund.
Assistance for all other overseas Filipinos (OFs), including students, tourists, dual citizens and permanent residents also remains within the DFA’s purview.
The OFs may contact the DFA at 8834-4996 or via email at [email protected] and Facebook at OFWHelpPH.
The looming turn over is in compliance with Republic Act 11641, which created the DMW. (PNA)