Cayetano: DMW needs higher budget on inaugural year

The newly-established Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) deserves a higher budget on its inaugural year so it can effectively ensure the welfare of the country’s overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

The Senate had earlier passed a P16.2-billion budget for the DMW after insertions, up from an initial P14.9 billion laid out in the proposed 2023 General Appropriations bill (GAB) during the budget hearings.

"Two to four trillion pesos ang contribution ng OFWs sa economy over the last five years, tapos bibigyan natin sila ng budget na P16 billion (The contribution of OFWs to the economy is two to four trillion pesos over the last five years, then we will give them a budget of P16 billion)?” Senator Alan Peter Cayetano said during the Senate sponsorship presentation of the 2023 budget for the DMW last Nov. 10, 2022.

Cayetano, however, said the appropriation should be even higher. “Bigyan naman natin sila ng 20, 25, 30 billion (pesos) na pondo na kumpletos rekados (Let's give them 20, 25, 30 billion funds to complete their needs),” he said.

The senator directed his suggestion to Malacañang as well as his colleagues in the House of Representatives, saying that giving the DMW a higher budget on its first year will send a signal to OFWs and their families that the government is serious in advancing their interests.

"Let's make a significant impact in the first year. We don't want to be so sentimental na finally may department for OFWs and then not meet the expectation," he said.