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DFA pushes for creation of Cabinet cluster for distressed OFWs

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By Roy Mabasa

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is pushing for the creation of a Cabinet cluster that would fast track government response to the concerns of distressed overseas Filipino workers.

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano answers questions from members of the media during an ambush interview following the recommendation by the Commission on Appointments Foreign Affairs Committee of his confirmation as DFA Secretary at the Office of the Senate in Pasay City on Wednesday. (JAY GANZON / MANILA BULLETIN)

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano (JAY GANZON / MANILA BULLETIN)

“We’re pushing for a Cabinet cluster on OFW concerns and then afterward, the creation of an interagency for all of our OFWs,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in a media briefing this afternoon.

In justifying the need for the creation of such a Cabinet cluster, Cayetano cited the case of Joanna Daniela Demafelis, the Filipino household service worker found inside a freezer in Kuwait earlier this month.

Apparently, when the family of Demafelis sought the assistance of various government agencies so that they can contact her in Kuwait, they were virtually ignored.

“As you see in the case of Joanna, may complaint nagsabi na sila (family) pero di pa naaksyunan so this is not an isolated case,” said Cayetano. “In the past, there’s been finger-pointing.”

At the same time, he said creating a cluster would lessen confusion among OFWs in need of assistance on which agency they should contact for help.

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