DOLE Undersecretary Cacdac assumes office as new POEA administrator; bares seven priority areas

January 3, 2012 10:27 am 

MANILA, Jan. 2 — Hans Leo J. Cacdac, DOLE undersecretary for labor relations, formally assumed office Monday, as the new administrator of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), replacing former administrator Carlos Cao, Jr.

Cacdac assumed office after a simple turnover ceremony at the Patricia Sto. Tomas Hall of the Blas F. Ople Building on Ortigas Avenue, Mandaluyong City, attended by DOLE Undersecretary Danilo Cruz, POEA OIC Deputy Administrators Jaime Jimenez and Candida Vistro, other DOLE officials, and members of the POEA directorate.

DA Jimenez led the members of the directorate in turning over to Administrator Cacdac the POEA flag, the official symbol of POEA authority. Outgoing administrator Cao, Jr. begged off from attending the turnover due to personal reasons. Administrator Cacdac last week has taken the oath of office as new POEA administrator before DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz.

Immediately buckling down to work, Administrator Cacdac convened a meeting of the POEA directorate and bared his priorities as POEA head.

"The beginning of the New Year carries renewed strength and determination to pursue our roles in nation-building. As POEA administrator, I shall focus on seven priority areas under my stewardship," he said, adding:

"I will work on the following

– streamline OFW documentation and processing systems to provide more efficient services delivery to OFWs. We shall regain public confidence in our systems, starting with the restoration of the POEA's ISO certification;

– strengthen enforcement of anti-illegal recruitment laws and licensed recruitment regulations. We shall implement R.A. 10022, which heightened the POEA's role in the fight against illegal recruiters;

– ensure transparency and accountability in the development of policies and regulations. This means institutionalized consultative mechanisms involving stakeholders in the sea-based and land-based sectors;

– further protection of certain types of OFWs, such as domestic workers and seafarers. This includes pushing for the ratification of the ILO Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers and the Maritime Labour Convention;

– vigorous pursuit of bilateral agreements with receiving countries for the better protection and welfare of OFWs;

– stronger and more harmonious coordination with government agencies; and

– ensure measures that implement and promote anti-corruption, anti-fixer, anti-red tape rules and regulations, including the operationalization of the POEA Efficiency and Integrity Board."

Cacdac, prior to joining the government service, served the poor and the underprivileged townsfolk by providing legal expertise as associate lawyer of the Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panligal, or SANLIGAN, a legal resource non-governmental organization engaged in development work with women, workers, farmers and fishermen, the urban poor, and local communities.

He 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 Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, then the POEA Administrator.

DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz warmly welcomed Usec. Cacdac’s appointment as new 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.

“He will energize the POEA for better services delivery to its clients, particularly our OFWs,” she added.

As deputy administrator, Cacdac was also in charge of the government program on illegal recruitment and the Pre-Employment Orientation Program, a flagship program of the POEA.

Before his assumption as POEA chief, Cacdac was DOLE undersecretary for labor relations, a position he held with distinction, highlighted by his role when he, as representative of the Philippines to the 100th ILO Conference in Geneva in June 2010, successfully steered to conclusion the work of the International Labor Organization's Committee on Domestic Workers that ended almost two weeks of continuous serious debate on the provisions of the Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers and its accompanying Recommendation.

The international instrument was later overwhelmingly adopted by the ILO Conference.

Cacdac is a skilled and eloquent public speaker and a prodigious writer, having been published law publications, such as the Journal of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the Philippine Journal of Industrial Relations, and the Ateneo Law Journals, among others.

He obtained a master's degree in comparative law with focus on international trade and workers' rights from the Cumberland School of Law of Stanford University. He has also taught law at the Ateneo de Manila from where he obtained his law degree, and studied at the University of Durham in England. He has represented the Philippine government in many international meetings and conferences. (PNA) DCT/utb

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