Department of Overseas Filipinos top priority among proposed new agencies — Nograles | Global News
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Department of Overseas Filipinos top priority among proposed new agencies — Nograles

/ 12:28 PM May 10, 2021
Repatriated OFWs from Qatar were greeted at the airport by DFA personnel

Repatriated overseas Filipinos. Photo from DFA

MANILA, Philippines — Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Monday the creation of the Department of Overseas Filipinos (DOFIL) is the Duterte administration’s top priority among the proposed new government agencies.

During the hybrid hearing of the Senate committee on labor, employment, and human resources development, Nograles said there are three proposed new government departments included in the Duterte administration’s priority—the DOFIL, the Department of Water, and the Department of Disaster Resilience.

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“In terms of priority, DOFIL would be the highest in terms of priority,” Nograles said.

“We know that there’s limited time already… So if we were to select which one would get the top priority, because of the constant time constraints, DOFIL would be number one,” he added.

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Aside from DOFIL, there are seven other proposed new government departments in the upper chamber — the Department of Water; the Department of Disaster Resilience; the Department of Fisheries; the Department of Sports; the Department of Homeland Security; the Department of Economic Planning; and, the Department on Culture.

In his questioning, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said he is “really disappointed” that the Department of Economic Planning is not included in the priority legislation.

But Nograles said all the proposed new government departments shall undergo vetting process to be included in the priority legislations of the President.

Meanwhile, Drilon likewise pointed out that the proposed Department of Culture has been pending since the 17th Congress.

“It has never been considered. If I were to believe your statement. It has never been vetted, as an important department to handle to take care of our culture, cultural needs,” Drilon said.

“I guess I am just spreading into the record the reality that you do not consider—or the executive branch—does not consider as priority the other areas of serious concern,” he added.

Nograles, nonetheless, stood by his earlier remark that the DOFIL remains to be top priority of the Duterte administration.

“It’s up for consideration by the executive branch, right now, but again, it will pass through the same vetting process as DOFIL did,” Nograles said. “We stand firm that… this DOFIL bill currently sitting in this committee, this honorable committee, is a top priority.”

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