The newly established Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) that focuses solely on addressing the needs and ensure the well-being of OFWs, deserves a man of tested calibre to head the agency. It needs a man of action well equipped with the knowledge on Muslim personal laws and Sharia Law.
President Duterte should appoint his Presidential Adviser on OFWs Secretary Abdullah “Dabs” Mamao (One of the Prime Movers of R.A. 11641 Creating the DMW) as Head of the Agency for he has all the qualifications required for the said position. Secretary Mamao’s diplomatic skills was proven effective and successful, many times, after the President dispatched him to the Middle East and GCC countries to appease and heal strained relations caused by some petty diplomatic squabbles. His prowess on diplomatic negotiations paved the way for the release of overseas Filipino workers abducted by armed men and the lifting of the ban for deployment of household workers to Kuwait as a result of the killing of OFW Joanna Demafiles, a Filipina domestic worker in Kuwait.
In 2016, during a Cabinet Meeting in Malacanang Palace and upon the strong recommendation of the DFA 3-Man Rapid Response (RRT) Humanitarian Mission to KSA composed of Datu Omar Tahir M. Pangarungan, Ambassador Eric M. Endaya, Atty. Joel Peralta, President Duterte ordered the urgent deployment of a High level Philippine Government Composite Mission from DFA, DOLE/POEA, DSWD, OWWA, DOH, TESDA, DOJ & PAO to Saudi Arabia,
In the said meeting, President Duterte verbally directed Presidencial Adviser on OFWs Secretary Abdullah “Dabs” Mamao to head the Php delegation with DOLE Secretary Silvestro Bello, TESDA Secretary Mamondiong Guiling, DFA Undersecretary Jesus I. Yabes , 2 DSWD Undersecretaries Hope Hervilla and other high ranking government officials from member agencies to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to OFWs stranded in work camps in Al Khobar, Riyadh, Jeddah and nearby areas.
The high level delegation was tasked to conduct higher representations with Saudi Labor Ministry and employers to facilitate early repatriation of the more than 11K stranded OFWs and early resolution of labor problems of these OFWs. The Delegation held a series of dialogue meetings with their Saudi counterparts that led to a follow through bilateral meetings on labor issues especially on the complete abolition of the kafala system or sponsorship system!
Because of Secretary Mamao’s expertise on Sharia Laws and Islamic Diplomacy, all his numerous humanitarian missions abroad to save IDPs OFWs in the Middle East countries have been greatly successful!!
In 2018, Secretary Mamao was sent to Kuwait by PRRD as Special Envoy to resolve a diplomatic scuffle with the Kuwaiti Government involving the DFA and rescued Filipino OFWs. He was also involved in the extraction of distressed OFWs in Libya, and the payment of backwages by the Saudi Goverment to more than 11,000 Filipino workers amounting to $4.6 billion dollars.
This is a victory for all OFWs abroad and their families. Filipino Community leaders all over Middle East are now hoping for the immediate appointment of Secretary Mamao as Head of the newly created and signed Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) as PRRD’s legacy for the Filipino Migrant Workers. (A repost from @wesupportdabsmamao)