Duterte’s 1st order to DFA: Improve OFW services

Paterno Esmaquel II
Duterte’s 1st order to DFA: Improve OFW services
Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr also wants the passport application process to 'be cut to the minimum in terms of red tape'

MANILA, Philippines – Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr on Monday, July 4, disclosed the first order he got from President Rodrigo Duterte for the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA): Improve services for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). 

“I have my marching orders coming from the President, the first being we must make sure that our overseas Filipino workers’ needs and problems are specially and adequately addressed,” Yasay said at the Tapatan sa Aristocrat forum on Monday. 

Yasay said: “We want to make sure that from the very day, the first day that the recruitment processes start, up to the time that they arrive at their point of destination, we will be ready and available to help them in their needs.” 

The DFA chief said the least that the Philippines can do for OFWs, “who, in a true sense, are our economic heroes,” is to serve them well.

He added that the DFA wants “to make sure that other services that we render to the public, especially with the regards to the issuance of travel documents, passports, and other documentations needed for the free passage and travel of our people, will be cut to the minimum in terms of red tape.”

Duterte: Reduce processing time

Duterte stressed this point in his inaugural speech on June 30.

The President said on his first day in office: “I direct all department secretaries and the heads of agencies to reduce requirements and the processing time of all applications, from the submission to the release.”

“I order all department secretaries and heads of agencies to remove redundant requirements and compliance with one department or agency, shall be accepted as sufficient for all,” Duterte added.

In the last weeks of the Aquino administration, the DFA already said it wants to improve its passport application services. 

The DFA, for one, said it is cracking down on passport applicants who fail to show up on their application date. 

The DFA is also converting its satellite office in Robinsons Galleria mall exclusively for OFWs. – Rappler.com

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Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.