Main Article: Conditions of OFWs worsened under Aquino – migrant group
MANILA – The appointment of Carlos Cao, Jr. as chief administrator of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), January last year, could have been the start of reforms in the agency. According to Migrante International, Cao has been, so far, the “most accessible, open-minded and sincere among POEA chiefs.”
“When he assumed office, he immediately conducted consultations with us to learn about our needs and demands. He was clearly still new to the job but we appreciated his sincerity and good intentions for OFWs,” said Garry Martinez, Migrante International chairman.
However ,last January 2, Cao was replaced by former Labor undersecretary Hans Cacdac. News reports said Cao did not receive any official word from the Office of the President, which appointed him to the post, that he would be removed or would be replaced. It was the higher-ups from the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) who informed him.
He said he has no idea about the reasons behind his ouster. “I don’t know why they removed me from my post. There has been no issue of corruption, no scandal. In my personal view, I was able to manage the process flaws in the agency. I can’t understand why I was replaced,” Cao said in a forum held last June 11 conducted by Migrante International. Cao was invited as a reactor in the “Summing-up of the State of Migrants Under Aquino” held at the University of the Philippines.
(Photo courtesy of Migrante International/ Bulatlat.com)
Heart for OFWs
“I have a special burden for OFWs for the longest time. I have neighbors who are working abroad, two of my siblings are also OFWs and my brother-in-law is also a seafarer. So maybe God agreed to put me in POEA,” Cao said in the forum.
He said he may not be an expert on migration but his heart is with OFWs, who are called as “modern day heroes.” In his short stint in the POEA, Martinez said, “the agency united and fought with the migrant sector against budget cuts and for higher state subsidy for direct services for OFWs.”.... MORE