PBBM Appoints Hans Leo Cacdac as New DMW Secretary

In a move highlighting the Philippine government’s commitment to improving conditions for its citizens working abroad, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has appointed Hans Leo Cacdac as the new Secretary of the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW). This significant appointment is expected to fortify efforts in protecting the rights and welfare of millions of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Cacdac, a seasoned advocate with a history of proactive roles in various labor and employment sectors, steps into this role poised to enhance legal protections, job opportunities, and support services for OFWs. This strategic leadership shift promises to address the complex challenges faced by Filipino migrant workers on the global stage.

DMW Secretary
Credits: PNA

A Timely Appointment for Filipino Migrant Workers

In a significant development for the welfare of Filipino migrant workers, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. recently confirmed the appointment of Undersecretary Hans Leo Cacdac as the new Secretary of the Department of Migrant Workers. This appointment marks an important moment for the department, tasked with safeguarding the rights and welfare of millions of Filipinos working abroad, as shared in a report by the Inquirer.

The Role of the Department of Migrant Workers

Established to provide focused attention on the issues and needs of OFWs, the department plays an essential part in the government’s efforts to ensure safe, legal, and beneficial employment conditions for Filipinos abroad. The department is a beacon of hope for many families relying on overseas employment to support their loved ones back home.

Hans Leo Cacdac’s Journey to Secretary

Hans Leo Cacdac is not new to the challenges and intricacies of migrant workers’ issues. Before stepping into his role as the Secretary of the DMW, Cacdac served as the Officer-in-Charge of the same department since April 2023. His prior experience includes significant roles such as the Executive Director V of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, as well as Undersecretary at the Department of Labor and Employment. This extensive background equips him with a deep understanding of the sector’s needs and the expertise to drive meaningful changes.

The Significance of Cacdac’s Appointment

The appointment of Hans Leo Cacdac as the Secretary of the DMW arrives at an opportune time, given the increasingly complex global challenges affecting migrant workers. His previous tenure is marked by dedicated efforts to enhance the welfare of OFWs. Cacdac has initiated significant measures including the implementation of financial education programs, enhancing cybersecurity measures to protect OFWs online, boosting deployment rates, and continuing effective previous programs.

He has also been a staunch advocate for the rights and welfare of OFWs, striving to improve their working conditions and overall well-being. With Cacdac’s leadership, there is an expected shift towards strengthening the services offered to migrant workers, focusing on areas such as legal assistance, welfare support, and enhanced employment opportunities. His proven commitment and strategic efforts are poised to bring about impactful changes in advocating for OFWs’ rights amidst the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and issues like illegal recruitment and employment abuses.

Prior Leadership and Transitional Dynamics

It’s important to acknowledge the work of Susan Ople, who led the department until her unfortunate passing in August 2023. Ople’s dedication to the cause laid a strong foundation for the department. Cacdac’s transition into the role of secretary represents continuity but also a fresh opportunity to build on these foundations with new plans and policies.

Expectations and Future Directions

With Secretary Cacdac at the helm, expectations are high for the implementation of more effective strategies to protect our kababayans abroad. Key areas likely to be addressed include:

  • Enhanced Legal Protections: Strengthening the legal mechanisms to safeguard migrant workers from exploitation and abuse.
  • Improved Employment Opportunities: Ensuring that OFWs have access to safe, rewarding, and legally compliant job opportunities.
  • Support and Welfare Services: Enhancing the availability and quality of support services, including health, education, and emergency assistance for OFWs and their families.

Recent Updates

Hans Leo Cacdac Takes Oath as DMW Chief

Hans Leo Cacdac has officially taken his oath as the new Secretary of the Department of Migrant Workers. Following his appointment by Malacañang, Cacdac is expected to outline his directives and hold a press briefing after his first flag ceremony as department Secretary. (Sun Star)

DMW Shuts Down Firm for Alleged Illegal Recruitment

The DMW has taken action against an immigration consultancy firm for their alleged involvement in illegal recruitment of OFWs to Canada. Following an investigation led by DMW chief Hans Leo Cacdac, the firm’s office and its branches have been shut down, and a case has been forwarded to the Department of Justice. The department has also issued warnings to OFWs about the dangers of illegal recruitment and encouraged them to seek the assistance of licensed recruitment agencies. (GMA News Online)

DMW Padlocks Firm Offering Canada Entry to Filipinos

The DMW has padlocked Dream Pathway Education and Immigration Services for engaging in illegal recruitment practices, targeting Filipino workers seeking entry to Canada. The firm was found to be charging excessive processing fees and offering jobs as a pathway to permanent residency in Canada without the required licenses and proper documentation. The department is taking strict action to protect aspiring OFWs from fraudulent schemes and ensure compliance with legal recruitment processes. (Manila Standard)

DMW Mandates Contract Verification and Processing for Filipino Migrant Workers Bound for Canada

The DMW has issued an advisory requiring all OFWs bound for Canada to undergo contract verification and documentary processing. This measure aims to combat illegal recruitment, protect the welfare of OFWs, and ensure compliance with proper recruitment procedures. The department emphasizes the need for OFWs to go through their verification process to safeguard against fraudulent practices and to monitor the well-being of OFWs in Canada. (Inquirer)

DMW Bans Filipino Seafarers from Joining Ships in Red Sea and Gulf of Aden

The DMW has issued a ban on the deployment of Filipino seafarers on passenger and cruise ships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. This decision comes after the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and International Bargaining Forum (IBF) listed these areas as “High-Risk Areas” and “War-like Zones.” The department aims to prioritize the safety and well-being of Filipino seafarers by implementing strict guidelines and measures to prevent risks associated with these regions. (Business Mirror)

DMW Vows to Assist Families of Dubai OFW Flood Victims

The DMW is committed to providing support to the families of OFWs affected by the recent heavy floods in Dubai. The department is offering assistance such as repatriation of remains, financial aid, and psychological counseling to help the families cope with the loss or injuries of their loved ones. Relief operations are also ongoing to aid those impacted by the floods in the United Arab Emirates. (GMA News Online)

DMW Provides Updates on Assistance to OFWs and Deployment to Canada

DMW Officer-in-Charge Hans Leo J. Cacdac shares updates on the department’s efforts to assist OFWs affected by floods in the UAE. He also provides information on the deployment of Filipino workers to Canada and the measures implemented to ensure their safety and well-being. The updates aim to keep OFWs and their families informed about the ongoing support and efforts of the department.



The appointment of Hans Leo Cacdac as the Secretary of the DMW heralds a new chapter in the Philippine government’s commitment to enhancing the welfare and rights of OFWs. As the global landscape evolves, the role of the department will be more significant than ever in ensuring that the dignity and rights of OFWs are upheld on the international stage.

As stakeholders in this endeavor, it’s crucial for us to stay informed and supportive of the efforts undertaken by the department. The journey ahead is challenging but hopeful under Secretary Cacdac’s leadership. Let’s remain engaged and proactive in promoting the welfare of our modern-day heroes—the Filipino migrant workers.

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