Dept. of Migrant Workers transition group wants IRR issued by Mama-o nullified

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 12) — The Department of Migrant Workers transition committee is asking President Rodrigo Duterte to nullify the implementing rules and regulations issued by Secretary Abdullah Mama-o.

In a document dated April 4 obtained by CNN Philippines, the group said “the IRR that was purportedly signed and approved by the DMW Secretary by his own sole action is irregular and thus not an effective IRR under the provisions of the law.”

“The IRR should not be allowed to be published to prevent any derogation of the spirit and intent of the law,” it added.

The memorandum was signed by representatives of different member agencies led by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration chief Bernard Olalia.

Among the responsibilities of the transition committee as stated under Republic Act No. 11641 is the formulation of “the necessary implementing rules and regulation of the department within 60 days” after the law’s effectivity.

“Accordingly, the committee to fulfill such mandate immediately went to work as a collegial body and had several lengthy meetings where all members were in attendance and had fully participated in the deliberations of the provisions of the draft IRR,” the committee said.

The members assured that the IRR also underwent “a prior rigorous process of discussions in a technical working group” composed of experts from offices involved who are knowledgeable about Philippine labor migration laws and policies, as well as relevant international conventions.

“The DMW Secretary even after his appointment on 03 March 2022 failed to attend any of these committee meetings and deliberations despite due notices,” the group noted.

The committee said all members, except for Mama-o, approved the IRR on March 31 and submitted it to Duterte, but the DMW chief presented a different version to the public and the media.

“We respectfully advise His Excellency that this IRR is not the same IRR that was the product of the transition committee as a collegial body as mandated by RA 11641 and all the undersigned had no participation whatsoever in the crafting of the same. Neither have the undersigned approved nor signed the said IRR,” the committee emphasized.

CNN Philippines' Tristan Nodalo contributed to this report.