President Rodrigo Duterte named Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) Executive Minister Eduardo Villanueva Manalo as new Special Envoy for Overseas Filipino Concerns.
Malacañang said Manalo’s appointment papers were signed on February 13.
Manalo’s term began on January 30, 2018 and will end on January 29, 2019.
His appointment came after the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued an order enforcing a “total ban” on deployment to Kuwait following several deaths and rampant cases of abuses in the Gulf state against Filipino workers mostly domestic helpers, most recent of which was a Filipina Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) whose body was found inside a freezer in an abandoned apartment and believed to be that has been there for more than a year.
“In pursuit of national interest, and with the advent of the series of reports involving abuse and death of OFWs in Kuwait, a total ban on deployment of all OFWs to Kuwait pursuant to the directive of the President of the Philippines is hereby enforced,” the order read.
The Philippines is looking for other countries as alternative employment destination for Filipino workers.
Manalo assumed his position as Executive Minister in September 2009. He is the eldest son of the late Eraño Manalo.
The INC supported the candidacies of Duterte and former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. during the 2016 national elections.
Apart from Manalo, Duterte also appointed Herman Billones Jumilla to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) as undersecretary, replacing Gertrudo de Leon who was fired last October over corruption allegations.
The new DBM undersecretary’s appointment papers were signed on February 12.
The President also named new prosecutors, local government operations officers, and directors at the Department of the Interior Local Government (DILG).