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MANILA, Philippines -- Hans Leo Cacdac, the newly appointed head of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), assumed office on Monday, replacing former POEA administrator Carlos Cao Jr.
Cacdac assumed office after a simple turnover ceremony at the POEA main office in Ortigas.
The new POEA chief said he would focus on seven key areas during his term.
Among these are streamlining of line OFW documentation and processing systems; strengthen enforcement of anti-illegal recruitment laws and licensed recruitment regulations; ensure transparency and accountability in the development of policies and regulations; further protection of certain types of OFWs, such as domestic workers and seafarers.
Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, who also chairs the POEA governing board, welcomed Cacdac's appointment. Cacdac was former undersecretary for labor relations at the Labor department before his appointment as POEA chief.
“Having worked with him for a long time, I know Usec. Cacdac to be very capable of pushing much-needed reforms at the POEA in consonance with President Benigno S. Aquino III’s 22-point labor and employment agenda and in pursuit of his Social Contract with the Filipino people and the Labor and Employment Plan 2011-2016,” Baldoz said.
Cacdac joined the DOLE in 2004 as executive director of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board, and moved to the POEA in 2006 as deputy administrator for licensing and adjudication, under Baldoz, then the POEA Administrator.
Meanwhile, Migrante International expressed disappointment over Cao's replacement.
In a statement released Monday, Migrante International chairman Garry Martinez expressed disappointment over the “illogical” ouster of Cao, saying that the latter "has so far been the most accessible, open-minded, and sincere administrator."
“When he assumed office, he immediately conducted consultations with us to learn about our interests and demands. He is clearly still new to the job but we appreciate his sincerity and good intentions for OFWs,” Martinez said.
He said that it was under Cao’s short stint in the POEA that the “agency united and fought with the migrant sector against OFW budget cuts and for higher state subsidy for the direct OFW services”.
“He (Cao) even allowed us to set up petition-signing booths in POEA,” he said.
“We have reason to believe that politics may have something to do with this development. If this is the case, we call on Admin Cao to join us in our fight against illegal recruitment, human trafficking, corruption and coddlers in the POEA,” Martinez added.
Martinez said that Cao had been quoted as saying that he believed that the cancellation of permits of nearly 300 recruitment agencies on grounds of labor abuses and non-compliance to POEA rules and guidelines was the reason behind his supposed clandestine ouster.
“We believe that Cao will leave the agency with a clear conscience. Perhaps it may even be the very reason for his untimely replacement. He was no ‘politician’ and was earnest in his job," said Martinez.