Diplomats, OFWs support Cacdac’s appointment

Secretary Hans Leo J. Cacdac is popular as head of the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW).

In a random survey over the weekend, diplomats and retired and current overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) hoped that the Commission on Appointments (CA) would confirm Cacdac as DMW Secretary.

The CA will consider the appointments of  Cacdac, the lawyer son of a former OFW, and 25 other presidential nominees before Congress adjourns on May 25.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. appointed Cacdac as ad interim DMW secretary on April 25.

The random survey was conducted in response to the CA’s call for the public to send any information, complaints, or opposition to presidential appointees to its Secretariat.

In March, the CA bypassed an Army colonel’s promotion to brigadier general who was allegedly guilty of physical abuse, adultery, and neglect in providing financial support to the children.

Commenting on Cacdac’s appointment, Ambassador Wilfredo Santos, who is  in Amman, Jordan, said, “[S]ecretary-designate Cacdac represents continuity and stability in DMW, given his many years of experience in government service.”

He noted that Cacdac served as the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) administrator.

“He has a good and strong track record in handling labor and migration issues,” he said.

Consul General Edgar Tomas “Gary” Q. Auxilian of the Philippine Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, said, “I hope he (Cacdac) will breeze through the Commission on Appointments confirmation, given his good record and performance.”

“I wish him all the best,” added the Antique-born Auxilian, who has just been confirmed as ambassador and is wrapping up his tour of duty in the so-called “Bride of the Red Sea.”

Consul General Mary Jennifer Dingal of the Philippine Consulate in Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia, said, “Having collaborated with him (Cacdac) in the past on work related to assistance to our migrant workers, I am confident that he will breeze through his confirmation.”

She added that Cacdac’s “outstanding performance over the years and steadfast dedication to migrant workers could not be overlooked by the CA.”

“I wish him the best!” Dingal said.

Former Foreign Undersecretary and Philippine Ambassador Rafael E. Seguis also expressed full support for Cacdac.

Cacdac has also left a deep impression on OFWs.

Perla Bermudez Santos said in Los Angeles, United States, “As a community worker, I have heard much and read a lot of positive things about  DMW  Secretary Hans Leo J. Cacdac.” Santos is the founder and chair of MoTHER, officially the International MoTHER Movement.

She added, “I had known him since the early 2000s when MoTHER was founded  in Riyadh, where I was an OFW.”

Cacdac was, at the time, director of the Bureau of Labor Relations of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Marcial  “Jun” L. Nacion, a retired OFW who was a community leader in the Saudi capital, said, “He (Cacdac) is an action man. I hope the CA will confirm him as DMW secretary.”

During the pandemic, Jun’s daughter, a nurse in the United Kingdom, came home for a vacation. As was the procedure then, she and others who had just arrived from abroad were quarantined in a hotel in Tarlac for a week before they could go home to their families.

She fell ill because of the hotel’s water and food. Through another OFW, Mike Pera, Jun reported the incident to Cacdac, who personally called the hotel regarding it.

After that, service at the hotel improved to the delight of the quarantined workers.

Resty C. de Jesus, cashier and accountant at the Riyadh-based Saudi İnternational Trading Company (SITCO), said, “DMW Secretary Hans Leo J. Cacdac knows his job like the back of his hand. He has proven this time and again whether assisting OFWs in need or evacuating them from war zones.”

De Jesus added, “Yet, he projects humility when you meet him. I have met him several times during his visits to confer with OFWs in the Kingdom.”

Resty is Knight  Commander of Rizal (KCR) and former Chapter Commander in the Central Region. He is also a member of the Prefectural Tribunal (PT) and Council of Advisers (CoA).

Zane M. Thirlwall, former KOR Regional Commander for the Middle East and Africa Region, said he met Cacdac during his visits to the Eastern Province to meet OFWs.

“I’ve not heard anything negative about him. He takes his job seriously, and he deserves credit for it. I believe that the Commission on Appointments will confirm him,” Thirlwall said.

He added, “I wish him all the best. He’s destined to succeed!”

The Briton is married to a former Filipino nurse, Glynda T. Javier.

Ric Advincula, president of the Filipino Club Bahrain (FCB), said, “He (Cacdac) is the right person to handle DMW given his extensive experience and his passion to help OFWs.”

Advincula added,”Maraming beses na rin akong nakadalo ng virtual meetings na kasama siya, lalo na noong administrator pa siya ng OWWA.”

(I have attended many virtual meetings and consultations with him, especially when he was the OWWA Administrator.

Florante Marmolejo Catanus, a Filipino community leader in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, said,”Hindi na dapat gini-grill pa ng CA si Secretary Cacdac kasi karapatdapat siya sa puwesto at matagal na siyang naglilingkod sa OFWs. Alam niya ang problema nila.

(Secretary Cacdac should not be grilled by the CA anymore because he deserves  the post since he has been serving OFWs for a long time, and he knows their problems.)

Catanus, who received the Bagong Bayani Award for Community and Social Service in 2018,  is pursuing an online doctorate at St. Paul Manila University.

Advincula said that it was all right for the CA to examine the post and ensure that it would be filled by the right person.

Tama lang na piliing mabuti ang pinuno ng DMW, dahil malaki ang pondo nito para sa OFWs,” he added.

(It is all right to screen the DMW head carefully since the department has a big budget for OFWs.)

Ang expectation ay mataas kaya dapat ‘yong makakasama  sa paglilingkod ay ‘sing galing niya (Cacdac),” Advincula said.

(The expectation is high, so those rendering services should be as good and committed as Cacdac is.)

Cacdac cares about OFWs and has consistently acted on migrant workers’ problems. He goes the extra mile for meritorious and urgent cases, such as the case of a 25-year-old single mother who left on December 13, 2023, to work as a domestic helper (DH) in Riyadh.

Her supposed employer, Muhammed Saud Al-Shabanat, fetched her from the King Khaled International Airport (KKIA) but handed her over to his sister, who had a big house.

Aside from being overworked for cleaning a big house, the  DH was also maltreated.

A day after arrival, she was asked to get a glass as she started cleaning the house. When she gave the wrong glass, she was severely reprimanded.

Her ulcer started to bother her again, and she felt a lump in her throat, causing difficulty in breathing. The constant anger of her employer’s sister caused her to be slowly traumatized.

Eventually, the DH asked to be brought to her agency, Mosaizat Alenjaz Recruitment,  who told her to buy her ticket if she wanted to go home.

Retired foreign service officer Seguis relayed her appeal for help to Cacdac, then DMW Undersecretary and officer-in-charge, and Attaché Saifoden “Ding” Manalao of the Assistance to Nationals (ATN) of the Philippine Embassy.

Before her case could be acted on, she bought a plane ticket with the money she saved from her salary but only for the Riyadh-Manila flight. She could not fly to Davao.

Seguis informed Cacdac about it. The DH was instructed to report to the OWWA office at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). The DMW also asked for her contact number.

The OWWA brought her to the Salah Lofts Hotel in Pasay and then booked her Manila-Davao flight. She was also given fare from Davao City to her hometown.

After she arrived in Mati, the DMW called and advised her to apply for financial assistance with the OWWA office in the city.

What is your reaction?

In Love
Not Sure

You may also like

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *