Department of Migrant Workers
Kagawaran ng Manggagawang Mandarayuhan
Official Seal
Department flag

DMW Building in Mandaluyong
Department overview
FormedFebruary 3, 2022; 23 months ago (2022-02-03)[1]
Preceding agencies
JurisdictionGovernment of the Philippines
HeadquartersOrtigas Avenue, Mandaluyong, Philippines
Department executive
  • Usec. Hans Leo Cacdac, Officer-in-Charge
Child agencies
Key document
  • Department of Migrant Workers Act[2]

The Department of Migrant Workers (Filipino: Kagawaran ng Manggagawang Mandarayuhan,[3] abbreviated as DMW) is the executive department of the Philippine government responsible for the protection of the rights and promote the welfare of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) and their families. The department was created under the Department of Migrant Workers Act (Republic Act No. 11641) that was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on December 30, 2021.[4] The functions and mandate of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) will serve as the backbone of the department and absorbing the seven offices of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) namely the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers' Affairs (OUMWA) of the DFA, Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB), National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) and the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) of the DOLE. The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (from DOLE) will serve as its attached agency and the DMW secretary will serve as the concurrent chairperson of OWWA.[5]

The department is also mandated to closely coordinate with the Bangsamoro Ministry of Labor and Employment (MOLE) on the training, protection and regulation of deployment of overseas Bangsamoro workers.


President Duterte signing Republic Act No. 11641 or the Act Creating the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) on December 30, 2021.

On July 12, 2019, during the Araw ng Pasasalamat for OFWs (Thanksgiving day for the Overseas Filipino Workers), President Duterte in a speech promised to finish the framework for the creation of a department that caters to the need of OFWs.[6]

On July 23, 2019, Taguig-Pateros Representative and Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano together with Representative Lani Cayetano of Taguig and Representative Paolo Duterte of Davao City filed House Bill No. 00002 and was referred to the Congressional Committee on Government Reorganization and Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs. On March 11, 2020, the House of Representatives with 173 yeas and 11 nays, approved House Bill No. 5832 or the creation of Department of Filipinos Overseas and Foreign Employment.[7][8]

During his last State of the Nation Address on July 26, 2021, President Duterte marked House Bill No. 5832 as urgent and urged the Senate to pass the bill.[9] Senator Joel Villanueva filed Senate Bill No. 1848 or the Department of Overseas Filipinos Act. Subsequent bills were filed in the Senate and were consolidated under Senate Bill No. 2234. Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon introduced several institutional amendments that delimit the scope of the new department to overseas migrant workers and the welfare of Filipinos overseas will be handled by the Department of Foreign Affairs. On December 14, 2021, the Senate unanimously (20-0-0) approved Senate Bill No. 2234[10][11] The following day, the House chose to adopt SB No. 2234 over its House Bill No. 5832[12] understanding the urgent certification of the President.

During the commemoration of the 125th death anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal at the Malacañang Palace on December 30, 2021, President Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11641[13] and was witnessed by Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III.

Organizational Structure

The department is currently headed by a secretary with the following undersecretaries and assistant secretaries:


No. Name Term of office President Note
Ad Int Abdullah Mama-o March 9, 2022 – June 30, 2022 Rodrigo Duterte [a]
1 Susan Ople June 30, 2022 – August 22, 2023 Bongbong Marcos
OIC Usec. Hans Leo Cacdac September 7, 2023 – present [b]
  1. ^ Abdullah Mama-o served only as the ad interim secretary of the Department of Migrant Workers from March 9 to June 30, as the department has just been established under the Duterte administration.
  2. ^ DMW undersecretary Cacdac was assigned Officer in Charge of the department after the death of Sec. Ople.[14]

Sub-departments and agencies


  1. ^ Rocamora, Joyce Ann (February 3, 2022). "OFW dep't law takes effect, transition underway". Philippine News Agency.
  2. ^ "Department of Migrant Workers Act". Republic Act No. 11641 of December 30, 2021 (PDF). Congress of the Philippines.
  3. ^ "Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., First State of the Nation Address, July 25, 2022 | GOVPH". Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved March 20, 2023.
  4. ^ "Duterte OKs creation of Department of Migrant Workers". ABS-CBN News. December 30, 2021. Retrieved December 30, 2021.
  6. ^ "Duterte eyes creation of OFW department by December". SunStar Manila. July 13, 2019. Retrieved December 30, 2021.
  7. ^ "House OKs bill creating Department of Filipinos Overseas and Foreign Employment". March 11, 2020. Retrieved December 30, 2021.
  8. ^ "Committee Report 142 on House Bill No. 5832, 18th Congress, House of Representatives" (PDF). House of Representatives. March 12, 2020. Retrieved December 30, 2021.
  9. ^ "Duterte pushes for OFW department bill". GMA News. July 26, 2021. Retrieved December 30, 2021.
  10. ^ "Department of Migrant Workers bill passed, hailed". Philippine Star. December 15, 2021. Retrieved December 30, 2021.
  11. ^ "Committee Report 264 on SB No. 2234, 18th Congress, Senate of the Philippines" (PDF). Senate of the Philippines. Retrieved December 30, 2021.
  12. ^ "House adopts Senate version of bill creating OFW dept". Philippine News Agency, Republic of the Philippines. December 15, 2021. Retrieved December 30, 2021.
  13. ^ "Duterte signs law creating Department of Migrant Workers". CNN Philippines. December 30, 2021. Retrieved December 30, 2021.
  14. ^ Manahan, Job (September 7, 2023). "Hans Cacdac appointed DMW officer-in-charge: Palace". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved September 9, 2023.