Why I will vote for DIWA Party-list


Anna Mae Lamentillo

By the year 2023, a new government department is expected to start operations. This will be the newly-created Department of Migrant Workers, which was established by virtue of Republic Act No. 11641 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on Dec. 30, 2021.

One of the principal authors of the law is Democratic Independent Workers’ Association (DIWA) Party-list Representative Michael Edgar Aglipay. The DIWA Party-list had been fervently pushing for the passage of this law that strengthens the protection of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). With a department exclusive for OFWs and other Filipino migrants, we can ensure that the rights of our modern-day heroes are enforced and the government is able to provide them adequate support and assistance.

This law is just one of the many legislative measures that DIWA Party-list has authored and supported with the aim of ensuring that the rights of Filipino workers are protected.

From NGO to Party-list

DIWA was initially established as a non-government organization (NGO) on Oct. 21, 2003. It sought to address the legal concerns of laborers from abuses in the workplace.

DIWA registered as a party-list in February 2007 and continued to take measures that ensure employees’ rights are protected. It is supported by several other NGOs that represent different labor sectors, such as the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) – Lay Men and Women, Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (ACTO), Police Hotline Movement Inc. (PHMI), and Philippine Association of Detective and Protective Agency Operators (PADPAO), among others.

In 2010, DIWA Party-list won a seat at the House of Representatives. It continues to represent itinerant and informal workers, OFWS, seafarers, farmers, transport workers, retired workers, BPO workers, and workers from the security and public safety sector.

DIWA ensures that Congress approves laws that will uphold the dignity of Filipino workers. It also provides assistance to its members in availing benefits from government programs especially designed for the indigent and at-risk population of the community, such as the Department of Health’s (DOH) Medical Assistance for Indigent Patients, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation.

Laws to protect Filipino workers

Aside from the law creating the Department of Migrant Workers, DIWA Party-list also pushed for the passage of the Batas Kasambahay, the Expanded Maternity Leave Law, the Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act, the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Law, the Anti-Distracted Driving Law, the First Time Jobseekers Act, and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Modernization Act, to name a few.

DIWA Party-list will pursue the approval of many other legislative measures in the current 18th Congress and as it seeks to continue on in the next Congress.  Among its priority bills are: the Magna Carta for Seafarers, the Magna Carta of Workers in the Informal Economy, the Security of Tenure Act, the Strengthening the Private Security Industry Act, the Establishment of APEX Hospitals in All Regions of the Philippines, the Protection and Welfare of Caregivers Act, the Promotion of Urban Agriculture for Food Security Act, the Amendments to the Discrimination Against Women in the Workplace Act, the Increase of Service Incentive Leaves Act, and the Act Requiring Planting of Trees for Any Construction.

DIWA is the party-list that I support and will vote for in the elections as it stands up for the welfare of both the formal and informal Filipino workforce; it aims to preserve integrity in government; it pushes for the institutionalization of affordable and available health services and facilities across the country; and it endeavors to strengthen the partnership between uniformed personnel and private security agencies and volunteers tasked to keep peace, order, and safety of the public.