The ban on the deployment of newly-hired Filipino workers to Saudi Arabia remains despite an order issued by the newly-created Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III said.
The DMW lifted the ban on the deployment, according to DMW Secretary Abdullah Mama-o.
Bello issued the statement on the ban due to confusion brought by the DMW’s department order, “lifting” the deployment ban to KSA.
Bello also advised the public not to believe the new order. “I issued a notice to the public not to believe the directive lifting the suspension of deployment of new hires to Saudi Arabia,” Bello said in a radio interview.
But Mama-o insisted that the DMW “can now do its function under the law.” The official also said Bello’s remarks were “inappropriate.”
Bello said that the DWM is not yet duly constituted and will start its official functions next year.
“That is ultra vires (beyond the powers),” Bello said, referring to Mama-o’s order and citing Republic Act No. 11641 that created the DMW.
Bello explained that DMW will only be duly constituted after three conditions were met, such as the approval of implementing rules and regulations, a staffing pattern, and if a budget has been allocated.
“While the three conditions have not yet been realized, the new department is not yet constituted. That is clear in the law,” Bello said.
“The DMW secretary therefore could not issue orders because his department did not yet legally exist and even Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea confirmed that the DMW had not yet been constituted,” Bello added.
Mama-o was appointed as part of an organizing committee that would attend to the DMW’s establishment, Malacanang earlier said.
Mama-o’s appointment has not even been submitted to the congressional Commission on Appointments precisely because his office did not yet exist, it said.
A meeting has been reportedly scheduled for Mama-o and Bello to discuss the matter.
The policy statements of the DMW and DOLE has caused confusion among workers, a migrant workers’ group said.