Stakeholders’ consultation series on the Department of Migrant Workers

Stakeholders’ consultation series on the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) and the Philippine migration governance

The stakeholders’ consultation series is supported by the Safe and Fair Programme, the Bridging Recruitment to Reintegration in Migration Governance: Philippines (BRIDGE), and the United Nations Network on Migration (Network) Philippines. The event will be conducted online every Thursday from 3 March until 7 April 2022, 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., via Zoom. Zoom link will be sent directly to participants after registration.


On 30 December 2021, the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the Republic Act (RA) No. 11641 or the “Department of Migrant Workers Act of 2021”. The passage of RA No. 11641 is a fundamental overhaul of the Philippine labour migration governance infrastructure, programmes, and services since the enactment of the Magna Carta of Migrant Workers (RA 8042 of 1995).

RA No. 8042 underwent four amendments over the years:
• RA No. 9422 of 2007 repealing the deregulation provision and strengthening regulatory functions of POEA;
• RA No. 10022 of 2010 strengthening the labour migration governance and programmes based on RA No. 8042;
• RA No. 11227 of 2018 on the publishing of the OFW Handbook; and
• RA No. 11299 of 2018 on creation of the Office of the Social Welfare Attaché.

None of these amendments drastically changed the labour migration system and governance infrastructure.

Since 1995, several government agencies played major roles in the management and governance of Philippine migration, including the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and its attached agencies such as the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO), International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB), among others, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), and so on. RA No. 11641 creates a new, central executive body – the Department of Migrant Workers – that will absorb the labour migration-related functions and roles of these agencies and become the lead government executive body responsible for labour migration and OFW affairs during the whole migration cycle.

In time for the drafting of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the RA No. 11641, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the DOLE-Institute of Labor Studies (DOLE-ILS) will organize the “Stakeholders’ consultation series on the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) and the Philippine migration governance”, co-organized with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), to gather stakeholders’ inputs and recommendations in the operationalization of the DMW and implementation of the law.

About the consultation series

The “Stakeholders’ consultation series on the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) and the Philippine migration governance” will be held online weekly from 3 March until 7 April 2022, to coincide with the timeline of the drafting of the IRR of RA No. 11641. According to the new law, the IRR shall be promulgated on 19 April 2022, or within 75 days after the date of effectivity of the law (3 Feb 2022).

Stakeholders from the following sectors will be invited to the consultation series: (1) government agencies including local government units; (2) trade unions, workers, and migrant groups in the Philippines and abroad; (3) employers, recruiters, and private sector; and (4) civil society organizations, academe, and advocates.


The consultation series aims to:
1. Discuss key provisions of RA No. 11641 and the essential features of the new DMW.
2. Share perspectives and insights of stakeholders.
3. Give updates on the status, process, and timeline of implementation and operationalization of the new law; issues and challenges in the transition to the new DMW and labour migration governance.
4. Elicit stakeholders’ recommendations for the IRR and on the implementation and operationalization of the DMW; joint actions and ways forward.


There will be five consultation sessions with each session focusing on a focal theme or topic.
Session 1: Key provisions and functional aspects of RA No. 11641
• Key principles, definitions, powers, role in migration governance; key functions and structures/operational features of DMW
• Mandatory five-yearly reviews and review indicators; Reorganization Commission
• Migration information system (MIS)
• Land-based and sea-based concerns and provisions
Session 2: Gender/women dimensions of implementing RA No. 11641 and in the operations of DMW
• Operationalizing specific women’s rights protection/gender provisions of the law
• Addressing violence against women (VAW), gender-based violence (GBV); including redress and access to justice mechanisms
• Ensuring gender-responsiveness at all levels in in all operations
Session 3: Recruitment regulation and processes
• Regulation, licensing, accreditation process; incentivization and promoting fair and ethical recruitment
• Addressing trafficking in persons (TIP)/implementing rules (IR); including redress and access to justice mechanisms
• Repeat migration/re-migration
• Land-based and sea-based concerns and provisions
Session 4: Welfare services and programmes
• Welfare services, programmes, mechanisms at all stages of labour migration (pre-migration, onsite, return)
• Social protection, retirement, social insurance; situations of public emergencies or crises
• Addressing VAW/GBV, abuses, exploitation; including redress and access to justice mechanisms
• Land-based and sea-based concerns and provisions
Session 5: Return and reintegration
• Ensuring safe return, including in crisis/pandemic context
• Reintegration preparedness; family preparation
• Reintegration pathways, services, and mechanisms
• Land-based and sea-based concerns and provisions

The 6th session (7 April) will be the culminating session where the consolidated key recommendations of the various sessions will be presented and validated.
Stakeholders’ inputs and perspectives will be gathered for each session, and the inputs and recommendations will be submitted to the IRR drafting committee.

Prior to the series, stakeholders’ input forms will also be pre-sent to target participants. These inputs will also form part of the inputs and recommendations of the consultation series.

Contact persons:

Rex Varona (
National Project Coordinator, Safe and Fair Programme
ILO CO-Manila

Marie Allyssa Dacasin (
National Project Coordinator, BRIDGE Programme
ILO CO-Manila

Ronell Delerio (