Press Release
September 10, 2018

Villanueva's closing remarks during the labor hearing on the proposed DOFW

Alam niyo ho noong time na nasa TESDA tayo wayback 2010, I asked for a briefing about the agency's functions. One of my directors told me that our education system is "trifocalized", meaning there are three agencies - DepEd, TESDA and CHED - in-charge of the country's education system.

Of course, we know that the trifocalization policy is a product of the Educational Commission of 1991. The reason being: the country's education was poorly managed and there was not enough investment in education. At that time, trifocalization was the "super miracle drug".

So, sila former Senator EDJA Ed Angara EDCOM chair, ang recommendation nila gumawa ng mga bagong ahensya para mabawasan ang trabaho ng dating DECS. Nagkatotoo po yun nung 1994 nang pumasa sa Kongreso ang CHED at TESDA Law.

TESDA itself is a merging of at least three offices - NMYC, BTVE and the apprenticeship program of DOLE's Bureau of Local Employment.

Now, many are saying that because of trifocalization, our educational policies bacame so fragmented. So, alam n'yo po... and I can speak till kingdom come about this: the entire more than five years that I was at TESDA, our work centered on harmonization, synchronization of educational policies from which the K-12, yung PQF na ngayon ay batas na din po, Ladderized Education Program, etc., were born.

Nagawa naman po, dahil aaminin ko at hindi naman ako nagbubuhat ng bangko, na dahil sa teamwork namin noon ni Sec. Armin Luistro at Chair Licuanan, madali yung naging "collaboration".

Pasensya na po kayo at kailangan ko banggitin ang mga ito. Kasi po, ganito rin ang nangyayari ngayon sa OFW concerns. Maraming "maestro", hindi lang trifocal, multi-focal po talaga!

This may sound theoretical - but I believe that coordinative mechanisms or collaborative governance can be a solution to this problem.

So, upon hearing all your brilliant insights and comments, and I really appreciate your inputs, and then thinking about it, I came to the thought that perhaps, we need to be a step ahead when it comes to OFW concerns.

Yes, maybe, we need a Department of OFWs that sees the whole picture because it is several steps ahead and can see the daily humdrum of OFW concerns from a vantage point of view or from a "panoramic view of the world".

So to the question of putting up another Department for the welfare of OFWs, I say that right now, this maybe a strategic solution. Perhaps, we really need a Secretary with singular focus on migration or OFW concerns. Although we are not saying that a new department that we will put up will not clutter the administration of OFW matters all the more. Posible rin po eh.

If the department of OFW is put up, so what will it do? Of course, consolidate effort for the welfare of the OFWs; and I say putting up another OFW department can also transform efforts for the welfare of the OFWs but any reform would require additional bureaucracy. Certainly, a separate Department will add up another layer into the bureaucracy but obviously, it's a necessity.

For instance, I believe that the proposed Department on OFW will still need to collaborate with DFA for foreign affairs matters or else duplicate what DFA can and should already do for OFWs. The proposed Department on OFWs will still have to coordinate with DOLE, DBM, NEDA, DSWD and what not, or otherwise duplicate services these agencies can and should and is actually already doing.

So if and when this new department is established, we will need coherent systems and procedures for inter-agency collaboration. Sa akin, napakaimportante ng structure ng proposed new department...kanina nga po binanggit ni Usec. Naik ang kahalagahan nito at nandito nga po si Sen. Villar na napakapassionate dito...

Again, we are not for migration-for-work, it is not our intent to promote labor migration. Ang gusto po natin hanggat maaari, dito sa Pilipinas ang trabaho ng Pilipino. Kaya lang nga po, nagbago na po ang mundo, kahit po saan, intense ang labor mobility. At binanggit kanina ni Usec. Arriola na inevitable ang migration ng workers.

I believe that when supported by appropriate policies - especially governance mechanisms - the creation of Department of OFWs, migration can contribute to inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development in both home and host communities.

So, sa inyo pong lahat, maraming salamat.

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