By Marita Moaje and Leonel Abasola

Migrant Workers Secretary Hans Cacdac (File photo)

MANILA – The Commission on Appointments (CA) on Tuesday deferred the confirmation of Hans Cacdac as secretary of the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW).

“As of now, his appointment is deferred, but in case his oppositors withdrew opposition, he might be confirmed tomorrow (Wednesday),” Senate President Francis “Chiz” Escudero said in a media interview.

SAGIP Rep. Rodante Marcoleta filed a motion to suspend Cacdac’s appointment during the CA committee on labor hearing due to lack of time.

“Kung magbago ang posisyon ng House, eh di magco-convene kami bukas. Nandito lang naman kami at mako-confirm pa rin namin siya bukas at hindi siya maba-bypass (If the House’s position changes, then we will convene tomorrow. We are just here, and we can still confirm his nomination tomorrow and he will not be bypassed),” Escudero said.

In his opening statement at the CA deliberation, Cacdac vowed to strengthen the DMW further and develop its central, regional, and overseas offices as centers of Competence, Integrity, Transparency, Excellence, and Service (CITES).

He noted that since his appointment as DMW Secretary, he prioritized the issuance of appointments of DMW personnel to ensure stability in its operations while sustaining the momentum gained under former secretary Susan “Toots” Ople.

“As of May 15, 2024, after two weeks since my appointment, I have signed and issued 89 appointments for our central and various regional offices. I also share the good news that as of May 15, 2024, we have achieved the 85 percent fill-up rate for our OFW (overseas Filipino workers) Hospital, with 163 out of 198 positions, mostly involving doctors and nurses, having been issued appointments. I commit to ensuring the attainment of our recruitment plan and calendar to fully complete our recruitment process and personnel by the end of July 2024,” Cacdac said.

For the first trimester of 2024, he said, the DMW has closed eight illegal recruitment establishments, compared to the seven closed in 2023.

In 2023, he said, the DMW filed 15 criminal convictions for illegal recruitment through its Prosecutorial Division, the Department of Justice, and the Supreme Court.

He said the DMW is also the first government agency to be given access to the TikTok reporting channel, which led to the dismantling of 8,826 illegal recruitment posts on the platform.

On Facebook, 19,379 illegal recruitment posts were also taken down in partnership with Meta.

Cacdac said to promote the protection of OFWs, the DMW has signed 43 bilateral labor agreements with OFW host countries worldwide, ensuring the safe, fair, ethical, and transparent labor mobility of OFWs.

Meanwhile, he also pledged to properly use the PHP2.8 billion AKSYON Fund given to the department to help OFWs and their family.

“Sa pagsulong ng mga karapatan ng mga OFWs, tatalima rin po tayo sa pagbigay ng tulong sa oras ng pinakamatindi nilang pangangailangan. Sa mga OFWS na humaharap sa mga emergency and disaster situations, kami po sa DMW at OWWA ay hindi bibitiw, hindi susuko, at hindi po aatras sa gitna ng anumang hamon at panganib sa aming buhay para makapag-lingkod ng tapat sa aming OFWs at OFW families (In promoting the rights of OFWs, we will also be committed to providing assistance at the time of their greatest need. To the OFWS who face emergency and disaster situations, we at DMW and OWWA will not give up, and will not back down in the midst of any challenge and danger in our lives to serve our OFWs and their families),” he said.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. named Cacdac as secretary of DMW on April 25, 2024 after serving as officer in charge following the passing of Ople in August last year.

Before his ad interim appointment in the Cabinet, Cacdac also served as Executive Director V of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration; Executive Director V of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration; and Undersecretary of the Department of Labor and Employment. (PNA)