BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. ____
ESTABLISHING THE CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL ON OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS HEADED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT
Whereas, the State recognizes the significant contribution of Filipino migrants to the national economy through their development assistance and foreign exchange remittances, and that the success of the overseas employment program depends on the assurance that the dignity and fundamental human rights and freedom of the Filipino citizens shall not, at any time, be compromised of violated;
Whereas, by virtue of Republic Act 8042 or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995, the right of Filipino migrant workers and all overseas Filipinos to participate in the democratic decision making processes of the State and to be represented in institutions relevant to overseas employment is recognized and guaranteed;
Whereas, R.A. 8042 also states that “non-governmental organizations, duly recognized as legitimate, are partners of the State in the protection of Filipino migrant workers and in the promotion of their welfare, the State shall cooperate with them in a spirit of trust and mutual respect”;
Whereas, by virtue of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, States of employment shall facilitate, in accordance with their national legislation, the consultation or participation of migrant workers and members of their families in decisions concerning the life and administration of local communities;
Whereas, by virtue of Resolution No. 1 Series of 2002 issued by the Department of Labor and Employment, as amended by Resolution No. 2 Series of 2008, the Consultative Council on Overseas Filipino Workers or CCOFW was constituted to serve as a regular consultative forum on all issues and concerns affecting overseas Filipino workers;
Whereas, since its establishment, CCOFW has been regularly conducting meetings but with loose organization whereby member organizations attend regularly, per invitation, or as the need arises;
Whereas, the membership of CCOFW is composed primarily of national government and non-government agencies based in the National Capital Region and without membership or participation from the regional and local levels;
Now, therefore, I, GLORIA MACAPACAL-ARROYO, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby order the creation of a Consultative Council on Overseas Filipino Workers.
SECTION 1. Chair, Co-Chair and Secretariat – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) shall serve as the Chair of the CCOFW and the Philippine Migrants Rights Watch (PMRW) shall serve as the Co-Chair. The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) shall serve as the Secretariat.
SECTION 2. Composition – Together with the DOLE, PMRW and POEA, the CCOFW shall also include, but not limited to the following government agencies:
1. Office of the Vice President (OVP)
2. Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)
3. Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)
4. National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC)
5. Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)
6. Maritime Training Council (MTC)
7. Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO)
8. Bureau of Immigration (BI)
9. Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth)
SECTION 3. Local Chapters – There shall also be at least one CCOFW Chapter each in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The local chapters shall be chaired by the DOLE regional office concerned while the POEA satellite offices in the regions shall serve as the Secretariat. An active and bona fide non-government organization or civil society group at the local level shall be chosen to serve as the co-chair. The local offices of the government agencies cited in Section 2, if available, shall also become members of the local CCOFW chapters.
SECTION 4. Non-government organizations and civil society groups – For an NGO or CSO to be eligible for membership at the CCOFW both at the national and local chapters, one must be duly registered or accredited by appropriate government authorities, in existence for at least three (3) years, and is primarily working or advocating for the rights, well-being and interests of overseas Filipinos. The CCOFW may impose other minimum requirements or standards for membership as it deems necessary.
SECTION 5. NGO and CSG members – By virtue of their being original members of the CCOFW through Resolution No. 1 Series of 2002, the following NGOs shall automatically become members of CCOFW:
1. Apostleship of the Sea (AOS)
2. Center for Overseas Workers (COW)
3. Development Action for Women Network (DAWN)
4. Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People-CBCP (CBCP-ECMI)
5. Institute on Church and Social Issues (ICSI)
6. KAIBIGAN ng OFWs (Kaibigan)
7. Kapisanan ng mga Kamag-anak ng Migranteng Manggagawang Pilipino, Inc. (KAKAMMPI)
8. Scalabrini Migration Center (SMC)
9. Sentro ng Manggagawang Pilipina (SMP)
10. National Greening Movement Foundation (NGMF)
NGO and CSG membership to CCOFW, however, shall not be limited or exclusive to the abovestated NGOs. CSG shall include trade unions, recruitment, manning and placement agencies, and the private sector, among others.
SECTION 6. Role of the CCOFW – The CCOFW shall:
1. Serve as a regular feedback mechanism on current policies, programs and services concerning and affecting overseas Filipinos.
2. Serve as a regular consultative forum on all issues and concerns affecting overseas Filipinos. Consultations on any policy or program affecting overseas Filipinos shall be conducted by concerned national or local government units through the CCOFW prior to implementation.
3. Assist concerned government agencies in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of policies, programs and services affecting overseas Filipinos.
4. Mobilize private sector participation on matters relevant to the protection and promotion of the rights, well-being and interests of overseas Filipinos.
5. Organize working groups at the national and local levels to coordinate and supervise matters relative to the achievement of its mandate and objectives.
6. Undertake other activities as maybe necessary for the achievement of its mandate and objectives.
SECTION 7. Secretariat – The POEA, as the CCOFW secretariat, shall among others:
1. Serve as the repository of CCOFW documents including minutes of meetings and resolutions, and directory of CCOFW members with regular updates;
2. Undertake the preparation for CCOFW meetings such as issuance of notice of meetings, confirmation of attendance, documentation, arrangement for venue and logistics, and preparation of other pertinent documents;
3. Set up and maintain CCOFW Website or interactive forum, in cooperation with the members; and
4. Perform other activities and functions as maybe necessary for the achievement of its mandate and objectives.
SECTION 8. Meetings – The CCOFW, both at the national and local levels, shall meet bi-monthly or as often as necessary to address pressing or priority issues and concerns, to be determined by the Chair or Co-Chair, or as requested by the members. It shall also conduct at least one national assembly each year to be held not beyond the first quarter of every year at appropriate venue.
The CCOFW national and local chapters shall regularly inform and update one another on issues and matters they have identified, discussed, agreed upon or implemented.
SECTION 9. Assistance – The CCOFW is hereby authorized to call upon all other agencies and instrumentalities of the Philippine government, as well as non-government organizations catering to Filipino migrants and their families, whose assistance and support may be deemed necessary to the effective dispatch of the role of the CCOFW. The departments, agencies, and instrumentalities called upon by the CCOFW for assistance are hereby directed to extend their full cooperation.
SECTION 10. Funding – The CCOFW may seek grants, and may accept donations from other entities to finance or support its relevant projects, programs and activities. The POEA as the Secretariat, shall administer the funds on behalf of the members of CCOFW.
SECTION 11. Separability Clause – Should any part or provision of this Executive Order be held unconstitutional or invalid, other parts or provisions hereof which are not affected thereby shall continue to be in full force and effect.
SECTION 12. Effectivity – This Executive Order shall take effect immediately.
DONE, in the City of Manila, this ____ day of __________________, in the year of Our Lord, two thousand and nine.
By the President:
EDUARDO R. ERMITA