New DMW Chief Launch 10-Point Agenda for OFWs

The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), under the new stewardship of Secretary Hans Leo J. Cacdac, has launched an ambitious 10-point agenda aimed at fortifying the rights and enhancing the welfare of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). At the forefront of this agenda is the reform of recruitment processes to ensure they are transparent, ethical, and centered on the rights of migrant workers.

Secretary Cacdac also seeks to institute full-cycle reintegration programs, emphasizing the sustainable return of our kababayans to the Philippines where their skills and financial gains can benefit their families and the country’s economy. This comprehensive plan builds on the foundational work of former Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople and aligns with the DMW’s mission to protect migrant workers throughout their employment cycle, from pre-departure to reintegration.

sec cacdac 10-point agenda
Credits: DMW / Facebook

Ensuring Rights-Centered Recruitment

A significant part of Secretary Cacdac’s plan involves improving the recruitment process to ensure it is transparent, ethical, and rights-based. This approach isn’t just about complying with legal standards but also about ensuring that our kababayans are aware and in control of their rights from the moment they decide to work abroad. One key aspect is the rigorous vetting of contracts, enabling workers, like domestic helpers in Saudi Arabia, to pre-terminate their contracts if they face abuse. By prioritizing rights from the recruitment phase, the DMW aims to safeguard workers from potential exploitation and ensure their dignity and safety are maintained.

Full-Cycle Reintegration Programs

Another critical effort under Secretary Cacdac’s leadership is the development of full-cycle reintegration programs for returning OFWs. These programs aren’t just about welcoming our kababayans back but providing them with sustainable means to reintegrate into society. Key components include livelihood creation, entrepreneurship opportunities, and financial literacy training. These are designed to ensure that the earnings and skills migrant workers gain abroad are effectively utilized to improve their quality of life and that of their families in the Philippines.

Defending OFWs’ Earnings

Understanding the hard work OFWs put in to support their families, Secretary Cacdac emphasizes protecting their earnings as fiercely as their rights. The aim is to ensure that these earnings are spent on essential family needs such as education, housing, and healthcare, rather than being lost to fraud or mismanagement. This protective measure speaks volumes about the DMW’s commitment to the holistic welfare of migrant workers and their families.

Continuing Legacy and Leadership

It’s clear from Secretary Cacdac’s early statements that his administration seeks to build on the foundations laid by the late Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople. Both leaders share a deep commitment to the welfare of OFWs, emphasizing continuity over change in the department’s strategies and programs. This consistency is essential for the long-term success of the programs designed to support the hundreds of thousands of Filipinos working abroad.

Secretary Cacdac’s 10-Point Agenda for the DMW

The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) under Secretary Hans Leo J. Cacdac has introduced a comprehensive 10-point agenda aimed at enhancing the welfare and rights of Overseas Filipino Workers. This ambitious plan charts a new course for the DMW, with efforts designed to empower, protect, and sustain the migrant workers community both at home and abroad.

1. Digitalization and Streamlining Processes:

The DMW is committed to modernizing and simplifying procedures related to overseas employment, making them more convenient and efficient for OFWs and stakeholders. This will leverage technology to protect OFWs better and expedite services.

2. Regulatory Enhancements for Recruitment:

By performing its regulatory functions diligently, the DMW seeks to ensure ethical recruitment practices that are safe and fair, while also combating illegal recruitment and human trafficking. This step will reinforce the legal frameworks and operational oversight necessary to safeguard OFWs’ rights.

3. Financial and Educational Empowerment:

Recognizing the importance of financial stability, the agenda includes helping OFWs to protect and grow their earnings. This includes a focus on broader financial education, literacy programs, anti-fraud campaigns, and encouraging investment in the Philippines, thereby fostering a robust reintegration ecosystem for entrepreneurial ventures.

4. Career and Entrepreneurship Pathways:

The DMW is developing career, employment, and entrepreneurship pathways for OFWs in partnership with relevant government agencies and the private sector. These pathways are envisioned to provide OFWs with sustainable career options beyond their time abroad.

5. Skill Development Efforts:

With a focus on continuous learning, the department will provide skills upgrading and development opportunities, especially targeting OFWs from lower-income levels to help them advance and stay competitive in the global job market.

6. Programs for Senior OFWs:

Recognizing the unique challenges faced by senior OFWs, the DMW aims to establish dedicated programs that cater to their needs, ensuring they have access to resources and support suited to their stage in life.

7. Bilateral Labor Agreements:

The agenda prioritizes the pursuit of improved bilateral labor relations with host countries, which includes measures for safe, transparent, and fair labor mobility. These agreements will be instrumental in securing the rights of OFWs and facilitating smoother workforce integration.

8. Regional and Multilateral Engagement:

Secretary Cacdac’s plan includes active participation in regional and multilateral discussions, coordinating with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), to further advance the cause of migrant workers’ rights, protection, and development on a global scale.

9. Strengthening Institutional Integrity:

The DMW is set to develop its central and regional offices as well as Migrant Workers’ Offices (MWOs) into Centers of Competence, Integrity, and Excellence. This involves implementing vigorous anti-corruption measures and promoting ethical standards across all levels of service.

10. Fostering Community Dialogue:

Finally, the department will continue to provide forums and venues for engaging stakeholders in overseas employment, encouraging discussions on policy development and the exercise of rule-making authority. This engagement is important for creating policies that reflect the realities and needs of the OFW community.

Secretary Cacdac’s 10-point agenda reflects a holistic and proactive approach to the challenges faced by OFWs. By addressing key areas such as digitalization, financial literacy, bilateral relations, and institutional integrity, the DMW is poised to make a significant impact on the lives of Filipino migrant workers and their families.

dmw secretary hans leo cacdac shares 10 point agenda for ofws

10 point agenda for ofws by department of migrant workers


The agenda set by Secretary Hans Cacdac marks a continued commitment to advancing the rights and reintegration of OFWs. By focusing on rights-centered recruitment and comprehensive reintegration programs, the DMW is taking significant steps to ensure that Filipino workers abroad are not only protected but also empowered to build prosperous lives after their overseas employment. This approach not only supports individuals but also strengthens the broader Philippine community by ensuring that the benefits of overseas employment extend beyond financial remittances, fostering sustainable development and social integration.

Secretary Cacdac’s leadership promises to uphold the dignity and rights of OFWs, ensuring that the Philippines continues to support its citizens globally with robust policies and empathetic governance.

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