DMW Announces Appointed Officials of Department of Migrant Workers

The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Secretary Susan “Toots” V. Ople announced the appointment of key DMW officials, describing them as “a mix of seasoned government personnel and new faces who share a commitment to serve our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).”

Also Read: DMW Launches One Repatriation Command Center (ORCC) for OFWs

The newly appointed officials and the DMW office will be a secure home for OFWs and their families.

dmw officers of the department of migrant workers

List of Appointed Officers of the Department of Migrant Workers

Here’s the official list of officers of the DMW office:

  • Susan “Toots” V. Ople – Secretary
  • Bernard P. Olalia – Undersecretary for Licensing and Adjudication Services
  • Hans Leo. J. Cacdac – Undersecretary for Welfare and Foreign Employment
  • Patricia Yvonne M. Caunan – Undersecretary for Policy and International Cooperation
  • Maria Anthonette C. Velasco-Allones – Undersecretary for Finance and Internal Affairs
  • Arnell A. Ignacio – Administrator, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration

Other key appointments include:

  • Jerome A. Alcantara – Assistant Secretary for Land-based services and concurrently Chief of Staff, Office of the Secretary
  • Levinson C. Alcantara – Assistant Secretary for Pre-employment Services
  • Felicitas Q. Bay – Assistant Secretary for Migrant Workers Welfare Services
  • Francis Ron C. de Guzman – Assistant Secretary for Licensing and Adjudication Services
  • Jerome T. Pampolina – Assistant Secretary Sea-based Services
  • Violeta D. Illescas – Assistant Secretary for Internal Management and Administration
officers of the department of migrant workers

Senior Officials and their Wealth of Experience

The senior DMW officials include Atty. Bernard P. Olalia, who previously served as administrator of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and Atty. Hans Leo J. Cacdac, who previously served as Administrator of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

Olalia has been named as DMW Undersecretary for Licensing and Adjudication Services. He will serve as Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the POEA until the DMW is considered fully formed following approval of its 2023 budget. For more than five years, Olalia has worked for DoLE and the POEA.

Undersecretary for Welfare and Foreign Employment Cacdac, who has worked for the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) and OWWA for 21 years, will take over as Undersecretary. He’ll be in charge of the department’s Aksyon Fund, which will be used to assist distressed OFWs from many nations.

Ms. Maria Anthonette Velasco-Allones, a seasoned civil servant, has worked for 31 years in the government. She was a former DoLE Assistant Secretary under the Arroyo administration. Prior to her most recent appointment, she was the head of the Tourism Promotion Board. She is currently an Undersecretary for Finance and Internal Affairs at the DMW.

Attorney Patricia Yvonne M. Caunan, a recent addition to the government service, was the head of a highly successful law firm that specialized in labor, civil, administrative, and criminal matters. She has been an advocate for the rights of migrant workers, providing free legal assistance and advice in a variety of settings. She will join the government as DMW Undersecretary for Policy and International Cooperation.

Before being named the OWWA’s head, Ignacio worked as Deputy Administrator of the OWWA. He took on the position of Deputy Administrator for the OWWA in September 2021. He served as an administrator with OWWA for a year in 2018 before leaving owing to personal reasons. Administrator Ignacio is well aware of the difficulties faced by migrant laborers, having himself been one for many years.

Also, among the “new faces” joining Ople’s DMW Team is Venecio Legaspi, a former OFW for 29 years in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia who will work as Assistant Secretary for Reintegration. “Ka Vennie” rose from the bottom to become vice-president of a well-known Saudi bank in Jeddah before retiring and joining DMW.

Here is the post from the official DMW office Facebook Page regarding this announcement:

Video: Oath-Taking Ceremony of Newly Appointed DMW Officers

Here’s a video showcasing the oath-taking ceremony with the newly appointed Department of Migrant Workers officers.


The officers of the DMW department aim to protect and uphold the rights of Filipino migrant workers. This is great news for all the Filipinos working abroad as this newly-created DMW office will be looking out for their best interests.

DMW’s announcement of the appointed officials features quite an impressive lineup. These individuals bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience that will be invaluable to the department in its mission to protect and advocate for migrant workers both here in the Philippines and abroad. We wish them all the best in their new roles!

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