MALACAÑAN PALACE
MANILA

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 41

CREATING AN INTER-AGENCY COMMITTEE FOR THE FORMULATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE GUIDELINES ON GIVING GOVERNMENTAL ASSISTANCE TO OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS IN DISTRESS

WHEREAS, the State is mandated to promote and protect the rights and welfare of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs);

WHEREAS, there is a need to rationalize the policy of the Government in giving assistance to OFWs in distress; and

WHEREAS, the creation of an Inter-Agency Committee to formulate and implement the guidelines on giving governmental assistance to OFWs in distress can harmonize and streamline the efforts of government to address the needs of said OFWs.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BENIGNO S. AQUINO III, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby order:

SECTION 1. Creation and Composition. The Inter-Agency Committee (hereinafter referred to as the Committee) is hereby created to study, prepare and implement the Guidelines on giving governmental assistance to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in distress. It shall also study the parity of punishment under the laws of the foreign country and the Philippines, and any applicable treaties allowing service of sentence in a convicted personís home country, and review the performance of the legal counsels who represent OFWs in distress.

The Committee shall be headed by the Vice President of the Philippines and shall be composed of representatives from the following: Office of the Executive Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Justice, Department of Budget and Management, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, and the Presidential Management Staff, as members.

The Committee may call upon any department, bureau, office, agency, or instrumentality of the government, and request the local government units and private sector for assistance as the circumstances and exigencies may require.

The duly authorized representative of the member-agencies of the Committee shall have a rank not lower than Assistant Secretary.

SECTION 2. The Guidelines. Comprehensive guidelines on giving governmental assistance to OFWs in distress shall be formulated which will include, but not be limited to the following:

a. Mechanisms on how the government could assist OFWs in distress and their families, while in the country where they are detained, and once repatriated in the Philippines, such assistance as may include but not limited to the medical, legal, psychosocial, and financial aspects of the case;

b. Criteria and justification for considering financial assistance to OFWs in distress, and identification of fund sources;

c. Process of reviewing cases of OFWs in distress and recommending actions for each case;

d. Coordination and/or creation of community support organizations for OFWs as well as the possible creation of a funding support system for OFWs in distress; and

e. Identification of the process for dealing with incidental issues arising from the principal criminal case involving OFWs, such as consumption of alcohol, live-in relationships, and other activities considered illegal in the area(s) where the crime was committed.

The Committee is hereby directed to submit the said guidelines to the President, no later than 10 March 2014.

SECTION 3. Funding. The member-agencies of the Committee are authorized to charge against their current appropriations such amounts as may be necessary for the implementation of this Order, subject to the budgetary, accounting and auditing rules and regulations. Subsequent funding requirements shall be incorporated in the annual budget proposals of the respective member-agencies through the General Appropriations Act (GAA). Additional funds and possible fund sources as may be necessary for the implementation of this Order shall be identified and provided for by the DBM.

SECTION 4. Separability Clause. Should any provision of this Order be declared invalid or unconstitutional, the other provisions unaffected thereby shall remain valid and subsisting.

SECTION 5. Repealing Clause. All orders, proclamations, rules, regulations, or parts thereof, which are inconsistent with any of the provisions of this Order are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

SECTION 6. Effectivity. This Order shall take effect immediately.

DONE, in the City of Manila, this 3rd day of March, in the year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Fourteen.

(Sgd.) BENIGNO S AQUINO III

By the President:

(Sgd.) PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR.
Executive Secretary


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