Seventeenth Congress
Third Regular Session

Begun and held in Metro Manila, on Monday, the twenty-third day of July, two thousand eighteen.


An Act Establishing the Office for Social Welfare Attaché, Amending for the Purpose Republic Act No. 8042, Otherwise Known as the "Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995", as Amended, and for Other Purposes

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippine Congress Assembled:

Section 1. Section 2, paragraph (b) of Republic Act No. 8042, as amended, is hereby amended to read as follows:

"(b) The State shall afford full protection to labor, local and overseas, organized and unorganized, and promote full employment and equality of employment opportunities for all. Towards this end, the State shall provide adequate and timely social, economic and legal services to Filipino migrant workers, especially for workers who are vulnerable to physical, emotional, and psychological stress or abuse."

Section 2. A new paragraph (e) is hereby inserted in Section 23 of Republic Act No. 8042, as amended, to read as follows:

"(e) Department of Social Welfare and Development. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) shall deploy Social Welfare Attaches in countries with large concentration of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), as determined in coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). The Social Welfare Attache shall possess the minimum qualifications set by the Civil Service Commission and the preferred qualifications prescribed by the DSWD.

"The Social Welfare Attache shall perform the following functions and duties at the overseas post:

"(e.1) Manage cases of OFWs and other overseas Filipinos in distress needing psychosocial services, such as victims of trafficking or illegal recruitment, rape or sexual abuse, maltreatment and other forms of physical or mental abuse, and cases of abandoned or neglected children;

"(e.2) Undertake surveys and prepare official social welfare situationers on the OFWs in the area of assignment;

"(e.3) Establish a network with ove rseas-based social welfare agencies and/or individuals and groups wrhich may be mobilized to assist in the provision of appropriate social services;

"(e.4) Respond to and monitor the resolution of problems and complaints or queries of OFWs and their families;

"(e.5) Establish and maintain a data bank and documentation of OFWs and their families so that appropriate social welfare services can be more effectively provided;

"(e.6) Submit regular reports to the DSWD and DFA home office on plans and activities undertaken, recommendations, and updates on the situation of OFWs, particularly those encountering difficulties in the host country. Said report shall form part of the semi-annual report to Congress as provided imder Section 33 of Republic Act No. 8042, as amended;

"(e.7) Provide information about the DSWD and its attached agencies and services; and

"(e.8) Perform other related functions in the delivery of social services, as may be directed by the head of the Diplomatic Post in the area of assignment."

Section 3. Appropriations. -The Secretary of Social Welfare and Development shall include in the DSWDs programs the implementation of this Act, the funding of which shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act.1шphi1

Section 4. Implementing Rules and Regulations. The DSWD, in consultation with the DFA, DOLE, Department of Health, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and other relevant stakeholders, shall, within sixty (60) days after the effectivity of this Act, formulate the necessary rules and regulations for its effective implementation.

The DSWD shall also provide the criteria for determining the selection of Diplomatic Posts to which Social We lfare Attaches will be deployed and the minimum qualifications and attributes of the Social Welfare Attaches.

Section 5. Separability Clause. If, for any reason, any section or provision of this Act is declared unconstitutional or invalid, other sections or provisions hereof shall remain in force.

Section 6. Repealing Clause. All laws, decrees, executive orders, rules, regulations or parts thereof inconsistent with the provisions of tins Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

Section 7. Effectivity. This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.


President of the Senate

Speaker of the House of Representatives

This Act was passed by the House of Representatives as House Bill No. 8908 on February 4, 2019 and adopted by the Senate of the Philippines as an amendment to Senate Bill No. 1819 on February 6, 2019.

Secretary of the Senate

Acting Secretary General
House of Representatives

President of the Philippines

Approved: April 17, 2019.

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