Marcos taps Arnell Ignacio as new OWWA administrator; DMW officials named

Published August 10, 2022, 10:28 AM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Veteran television host Arnell Ignacio marks his return to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), this time as the agency’s new administrator.

(File Photo)

The Office of the Press Secretary confirmed this in a text message to Malacañang reporters on Wednesday morning, August 10.

In a Facebook post, he thanked President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for the opportunity to lead the agency that deals with the concerns of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

“[R]eading the news… buffering ako halos hindi ako makapaniwala (I’m still processing this, this is almost unbelievable),” he wrote in his post on Tuesday evening.

“Maraming salamat sa tiwala [Mr.] PBBM at [sa] aking mga kasama sa (I thank President Marcos for trusting me and my peers at) OWWA [and] all the stakeholders,” he added.

Ignacio is no stranger to OWWA. He served as the agency’s deputy executive director and deputy administrator from 2018 to 2019 under the Duterte administration before leaving for personal reasons.

Before joining OWWA, Duterte placed Ignacio at the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) as its assistant vice president for Community Relations and Services Department.

Ignacio, a known supporter of former President Rodrigo Duterte, will replace Hans Leo Cacdac as OWWA administrator.

Cacdac, on the other hand, will serve as the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), as Undersecretary for Welfare and Foreign Employment, according to Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles.

Meanwhile, Angeles said Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Administrator Bernard Olalia would serve as Undersecretary for Licensing and Adjudication.

“He will be the OIC (officer-in-charge) of POEA until such time that the department is deemed fully constituted on the approval of the 2023 budget,” she said.

Venecio Legaspi, a former OFW for 29 years, has also been appointed by President Marcos as assistant secretary for Reintegration. According to Angeles, Legaspi worked for several years in Jeddah and rose from the ranks to assume the post of vice-president in a prominent Saudi Bank.