MANILA, AUGUST 4, 2008 (STAR) By Mayen Jaymalin - Local job recruiters have appealed to President Arroyo to appoint an “insider” or a labor expert to head the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

Leaders of recruitment agencies said Mrs. Arroyo should appoint someone who really knows the job of an OWWA administrator.

“We would prefer a person who has a long experience in handling welfare concerns of OFWs especially someone who also held an administrative job at OWWA during times of crisis,” they said in a statement.

They expressed opposition to the possible appointment of former Surigao del Sur congressman Prospero Pichay who has no experience in dealing with the issues concerning migrant workers.

“An outsider who will take the reins of the OWWA in short span of time can only produce negligible results in improving the welfare protection mechanisms of the office.”

Sources from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said aside from Pichay, President Arroyo is also considering the appointment of OWWA deputy administrator Angelo Jimenez, and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) deputy director Carmelita Dimzon.

Also being considered to head the OWWA are Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) assistant secretary-general and spokesman Alex Aguilar, Riyadh-based doctor Carlito Astillero and Sid Aligada.

The search committee had submitted to the President the names of the six nominees to head the OWWA. It also submitted their assessment concerning the application of the nominees.

Sources from the labor department said Jimenez and Aguilar, who were both endorsed by various church, labor and migrant workers’ groups are the strongest contenders to the position.

GMA endorses 27 new appointees to CA By Jess Diaz Monday, August 4, 2008

President Arroyo has endorsed 27 new appointees for confirmation by the Commission on Appointments, Cebu Rep. Eduardo Gullas, head of the 12-member House CA contingent, said yesterday.

He said the CA has received the appointment papers of Press Secretary Jesus Dureza, Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes, Environment Secretary Lito Atienza, and Commissioners Leonardo Leonida, Lucenito Tagle and Moslemen Macarambon of the Commission on Elections.

Dureza, Leonida and Tagle are new appointees, while Atienza, Reyes and Macarambon were bypassed in June when Congress ended its first regular session, prompting the President to reappoint them.

Gullas said as of last Friday, the appointment papers of Mrs. Arroyo’s new economic planning secretary, former senator Ralph Recto, and Labor Secretary Marianito Roque have not been submitted to the CA.

He said the President has likewise endorsed the 15 new ambassadors and other diplomatic officers led by former senator Orlando Mercado, envoy-designate to China with concurrent jurisdiction over North Korea and Mongolia.

Also submitted were the promotions of Major Generals Rolando Capacia, Nathaniel Legaspi and Hernanie Perez, and Rear Admirals Danilo Cortez, Ramon Punzalan and Josefino Solidum.

Gullas has been acting head of the House CA contingent since last February when Davao City Rep. Prospero Nograles vacated the post upon his election as Speaker. Last week, the House elected Gullas as permanent contingent head.

By choosing Gullas, the Lakas-dominated House rejected the proposals of rival administration party Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi) for its president, Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Villafuerte, to be Nograles’ successor in the CA.

Also elected was Rep. Alfonso Umali as Liberal Party (LP) representative in the CA.

Last year, LP congressmen questioned the decision of the House under then Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. not to give them representation in the appointments commission.

The House elected Umali a week after the Supreme Court required Nograles and Senate President Manuel Villar on Sen. Jamby Madrigal’s petition questioning the commission’s membership.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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