Manila, Philippines – Republic Act No. 11299 or the Social Welfare Attaché Act institutionalizes the deployment of attachés to countries with the most number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW).
The attachés will assist, manage, and monitor the complaints and queries of OFWs and their families.
The Social Welfare Act – in a nutshell
RA 11299 is an Act Establishing the Office for the Social Welfare Attaché. This law amends Section 2 of RA 8042 or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 to strengthen the role of the government in providing protection and assistance to the OFWs.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed The Social Welfare Attaché Act on April 17, 2019. It was publicized on Tuesday, July 16.
It has long been pursued by its principal author and sponsor, Senator Joel Villanueva since 2009 at the 14th Congress as CIBAC Party-List representative.
Who’s who? – Government offices that will play a major role
The law mandates the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to assign attachés to the countries with a large concentration of OFWs. These countries will be determined with the help of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
The newly created Office for the Social Welfare Attaché will establish and maintain the database and documentation of OFWs and their families, submit regular reports to the DSWD, and update the DFA with regard to the Filipino migrant workers’ situation.
Funding for the new office will come from DSWD’s annual budget.
Responsibilities of social welfare attaché
When deployed, the social welfare attachés will manage cases of trafficking victims, illegally recruited workers, sexually abused victims, maltreated workers, and abandoned children among others. This includes all other concerns as needed and may be commanded by the head of the Philippines’ diplomatic post in countries where they are assigned.