The vast wisdom of the longest-serving labor secretary, Blas Ople continues to guide the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in upholding the rights and welfare of Filipino workers, according to Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello.

Emphasizing Ka Blas’ contributions to the Philippine labor force, Bello said that DOLE will continue to live up to his legacy in uplifting the conditions of every Filipino worker and will remain steadfast in addressing the plight of overseas Filipino workers.

“Ka Blas was one of the remarkable leaders of our country who devoted decades of his life fighting for the protection of millions of Filipino workers. Please rest assured that we shall be relentless in our duty to address the plight of our Filipino workers, especially our OFWs,” Bello said during the 90th birth anniversary of Ople in Malolos City.

He also said that with numerous cases of abuse against OFWs, DOLE is currently prioritizing the review of the policies in sending migrant workers abroad to prevent ensure their security and welfare, which is one of the main advocacy of the Ka Blas.

“Our OFWs have already been sacrificing so much to provide for their families so there shall be no letup in strengthening the protection and security of our new heroes,” Bello said.

Meanwhile, Bello also commended the family of Ka Blas, especially Susan “Toots” Ople, the president of Blas F. Ople Policy Center and Training Institute, for being an active advocate and partner of DOLE in upholding the rights and welfare of our OFWs.

Ka Blas, who is known as the “Father of Overseas Employment” and served the country as senator, as labor secretary, as foreign affairs secretary, and as a humble public servant, is also the first Filipino president of the International Labor Organization in 1975.

###Abegail De Vega

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