Ople confirms Marcos’ offer to lead OFW dept

Susan “Toots” Ople

OVERSEAS Filipino worker advocate Susan “Toots” Ople on Wednesday confirmed that President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has offered the post of secretary of the Department of Migrant Workers but said she is still “in a process of discernment and consultations.”

Ople, daughter of the late Senate president Blas Ople, said she was humbled and gratified with Marcos’ offer, which happened during a meeting last week.

“We met last Friday, and it was a warm and inspiring meeting. He (Marcos) spoke about the need to get the new department up and running, and for it to care for our OFWs and also develop programs for their families, especially the children of migrant workers,” Ople said in a statement.

“Given his kind offer for me to return to public service, I am now in a process of discernment and consultations — because I am aware of the enormity of the task and the challenges involved,” she added.


Laguesma was offered to once again head the Department of Labor and Employment.

Ople, a former Labor undersecretary, founded the nonprofit organization Blas Ople Policy Center that helps OFWs and locally-based workers. She was also diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer, which she revealed in her newspaper column last February. She has undergone chemotherapy and PET scans since then.

The battle with cancer is also one of the factors she would input in deciding whether to take on the job or not.

Her father served as Labor secretary during the administration of Bongbong’s father, the late president Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

The elder Ople held the Cabinet post for 17 years and was later elected senator and appointed Foreign Affairs secretary.

So far, the only confirmed members of Marcos’ incoming Cabinet are Vice President-elect Sara Duterte-Carpio as the next secretary of the Department of Education and former Mandaluyong City mayor Benhur Abalos as chief of the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

Rodriguez, meanwhile, said that the selection process to determine other Cabinet members for the incoming administration is underway.

“Let me put it this way, with the overwhelming mandate, allow us to let President-elect Bongbong Marcos have his own government and his own governance,” Rodriguez said.

“While we respect the many good people that are serving in the present administration, I think we’ll just give him enough space to define his own government and have his own governance,” he added.

Source: CATHERINE VALENTE (The Manila Times)