OFW rights advocate and incoming migrant workers secretary Susan Ople is seen in this file photo delivering a lecture on illegal recuitment. (Photo: Business Mirror)
By Tracy Cabrera
MANILA — As the first secretary of the newly established Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), president-elect Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr.’s latest prospect for his Cabinet, Susan ‘Toots’ Ople has immediately seen “something wrong” with the system hiring overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
According to the incoming migrant workers chief, it appears that the present OFW hiring system shows how “bad” the situation is with employers seeming to have an “easier” time hiring Filipino migrant workers.
“I want to review all the systems in place. Why is it difficult for good employers to get Filipinos in the same way that bad employers are, sometimes, they even have an easier time to get Filipino workers,” Ople pointed out in Tuesday’s interview.
“There’s something wrong with the system,” she reiterated empathically to stress the need to review the country’s OFW hiring mechanism.
Ople is a well-known OFW rights advocate and she is the founder and president of the non-profit organization Blas Ople Policy Center, which was named after her father, the late Senator Blas Ople, who incidentally served as Labor secretary under President Ferdinand Marcos Sr.
Ople said she plans to initiate a consultation with stakeholders to create a “common vision for the (newly formed) department” once she takes office as part of her priority agenda to immediately address OFW concerns.
“I want to have a co-creation phase with our stakeholders, especially the OFWs,” she enthused,
“So that mindset I want to bring to the table and I want to tell them, to OFWs, you are not, don’t see yourself as kawawa [pitiful] because certainly we don’t look at you that way,” she added.
In ending, Ople said that labor mobility should not be viewed as a “bad” thing, especially in consideration that “labor migration is here to stay.”
“People go where the jobs are, people will go where their families will be financially sustained and resilient,” she concluded. (ai/mtvn)