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147 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Riyadh, who availed of the “Nation Without Violations”, or the 90-day Amnesty Program offered by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia returned home today, as deadline for the said amnesty program ends in June, 2017. The program started on 29 March 2017.

 

Airport and other relevant assistance were extended to repatriates when they arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) via Philippine Airlines flight PR 655 at 10:00 o’clock in the morning. Top government officials led by Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, along with Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Chief Hans Leo J. Cacdac, welcomed the Filipino migrant workers upon arrival at the airport.

 

The 147 returnees is part of the expected 5,000 OFWs who took the opportunity to come home, minus the `penalty’ imposed to ‘offenders’ after the 90-day grace period by the ‘host country’. Qualified to avail of the program include residents whose iqama expired on or before 19 March 2017; workers with work permit but no iqama or ID card; run away workers reported as such on or before 19 March 2017; Umrah and Haj overstayers (pilgrimage); pilgrims without Haj permit; and ‘infiltrators’ crossing Saudi borders.

 

So far, approximately 4,000 OFWs have registered and are due to arrive within the next days, one batch after another. Throughout the implementation of the 90-day KSA Amnesty Program, OWWA will be on a 24-hours round-the-clock standby through its 24/7 Operation Center (OPCEN) and by the OWWA Augmentation Team which was activated for the purpose. Early on, the Philippine government sent an Augmentation Team in KSA in March this year, headed by Secretary Bello, to assist OFWs who availed of the program.

 

Post-repatriation services were accorded to the repatriated workers that include temporary shelter at the OWWA Halfway Home to those living in the National Capital Region or nearby areas; provision of transportation fare for the workers’ onward travel to their respective provinces; psycho-social counseling, reintegration program offered thru OWWA’s ‘Balik- Pinas! Balik- Hanapbuhay! Livelihood assistance or the “Balik Pinay! Balik Hanapbuhay! Livelihood program under the National Reintegration Center for OFWs or NRCO; overseas and in-country job referrals to those who intend to get employed; as well as legal assistance by POEA/NLRC.

 

“We continue to extend assistance to OFWs at all times, and without let-up. Our personnel are well-trained to assist them even beyond the usual working hours. Our mantra, speaks well of our commitment to serve the clients in the hour of their needs,” OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac said.

 

A total of 250 OFWs will arrive today, with the following schedules:

 

            35 OFWs from Jeddah - PR 663 at 7:10 AM

 

            147 OFWs from Riyadh - PR 655 at 10:00 AM

 

            49 OFWs from Riyadh - Cebu Pacific 5J741 at 3:30 PM

 

            19 OFWs from Jeddah - Oman Air WY 843 at 9:50 PM

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OWWA Celebrated 35 Years in Serving the OFWs and their Families

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) celebrated its 35 years of existence, servicing the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families on 02 May, 2017, with a renewed commitment to continue ‘caring’ for its clientele.

 

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre H. Bello lll, who was the guest of honor during the event, underscored the need of OWWA employees to be more proactive, and consistent in dispensing their jobs with `burning passion’ to extend assistance to OFWs, especially the distressed ones, even when the call of duty comes at nighttime, or during the `wee hours’ in the morning.

 

He congratulated the men and women of OWWA, whom, in several times have been with him during special missions, notably during crisis involving the welfare and well-being of the Filipino migrant workers.

 

To share the milestones of OWWA were past and present Administrators who contributed to the progress and development of OWWA as the premier government institution for OFWs and their families.

 

Among the past Administrators who joined the OWWA family reminisced nostalgic OWWA years were Jose Sarmiento, David P. Corpin, Wilhelm D. Soriano, Virgilio Angelo, Carmelita S. Dimzon, and Mariano D. Roque, who also became Labor Secretary.

 

The OWWA milestone anniversary started with a celebration of a Holy Mass at the Manila Cathedral officiated by Fr. Anton C.T. Pascual. 

 

OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac expressed his gratitude to his predecessors, the support he gets from DOLE and OWWA family, and satisfied with the performance of his people. He motivates OWWA employees to imbibe the attitude of being ‘result-oriented’ public servants.

 

The agency also conferred loyalty awards to employees and retirees who contributed to the success of the institution.

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Anniversary Message of Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac

Anniversary Message of Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac

 

 

 

 

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OWWA 35th Founding Anniversary
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Airport and other relevant assistance will be extended to thirty-one (31) overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who availed of the 90-day Amnesty Program offered by the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), as the OFWs returned home today, Tuesday, 11 April 2017, at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), via Philippine Airlines flight PR 663 at 7:00 o’clock in the morning.

 

This 25 batch of repatriated Filipino migrant workers is part of the expected 5,000 OFWs who took the opportunity to come home ‘minus’ the penalty implemented within the 90-day grace period by the ‘host country’, due to various reasons cited as follows: residents whose iqama expired on or before 19 March 2017; workers with work permit but no iqama ID card; run away workers reported as such on or before 19 March 2017; Umrah and Haj over stayers (pilgrimage); pilgrims without Haj permit; and ‘infiltrators’ crossing Saudi borders.

 

Aside from airport assistance, the distressed workers will receive post repatriation services that include temporary shelter at the OWWA halfway home; psycho-social counseling/stress debriefing; medical referral; provision of transport services or fare for their onward travel to their respective provinces.  

 

“The Philippine Embassy and Philippine Overseas Labor Officials, made arrangements to process the OFWs’ registration and documentation prior to their travel exit. As this happens, OWWA Manila will take the next step from the airport to their travel to their respective destinations,” OWWA Officer-in-Charge Josefino I. Torres said.

 

Other options for displaced OWWA members are the “Balik-Pinas! Balik-Hanapbuhay! Program, a non-cash livelihood package worth P10,000.00 where they will be provided with a ‘starter kit’ ; Referral to TESDA’s Reintegration Program for OFWs where returning workers and one of their family members are given slots in the free training skills either for wage or self-employment, assessment and certification, jobs referral and employment assistance.

 

OIC Torres added that the DOLE Assist WELL Program for welfare, employment, legal, livelihood, are open for distressed OFWs’ stress-debriefing or counseling by OWWA; local employment referral or job placement by the Bureau of Local Employment (BLE); overseas employment referral or placement by POEA; livelihood assistance by OWWA and NRCO; legal assistance or conciliation services by POEA, DOLE Regional Offices and Regional Coordinating Centers, and competency assessment and training assistance by TESDA.

 

Meanwhile, non-OWWA members are referred to NRCO’s Balik-Pinay!, Balik-Hanapbuhay! Livelihood Program, a non-cash training and livelihood program for undocumented OFWs.

 

Throughout the implementation of the program, the OWWA Repatriation Team will be on standby for the batches of returning workers who availed of KSA’s “Nation Without Violations’ 90-Day Amnesty Program.

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One hundred thirty-nine (139) Filipinos who were granted exit visas under Saudi Arabia’s “Nation Without Violations” amnesty program arrived at 3:40 am today on board Saudia Airlines flight SV 7079.

 

President Rodrigo R. Duterte, along with Cabinet members and ranking government officials, welcomed the repatriated overseas Filipino workers comprised of sixty-five (65) females and twenty (20) children coming from Bahay Kalinga (or female shelter), and another fifty-four (54) males who resided in the Estiraha (or male shelter), including sixteen (16) walk-in clients at the Philippine Embassy in Saudi Arabia. 

 

The 90-day Saudi Arabian amnesty program was launched on 29 March 2017.  On the same day, Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III deployed a “Rapid Response Team” composed of DOLE Undersecretary Dominador S. Say, Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac, OWWA, Deputy Administrator Brigido J. Dulay, OWWA lawyer Cesar L. Chavez, Jr., OWWA and POEA lawyer Anna Patricia P. Jacobo to assess the situation of the OFWs availing of the amnesty program.

 

Due to goodwill generated by the visit of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia chartered a plane to fly the OFWs back to the country for free, at no cost to the Philippine government.

 

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) headed by Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III, and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) repatriation team extended airport assistance to the returning OFWs such as the travel document processing, use of a special immigration lane, and baggage assistance.

 

OWWA also provided post-repatriation services to the workers which include temporary shelter at the OWWA Halfway Home, psycho-social counseling/stress debriefing, and transport services. Each worker, whether active or inactive OWWA member, received five thousand pesos (Php 5,000.00) cash assistance from the Office of the President as well as an additional five thousand pesos (Php 5,000.00) from DOLE/OWWA.

 

The OFWs likewise offered the returning OFWs a package of services from the DOLE Assist WELL program that provides “Welfare, Employment, Livelihood, and Legal Assistance” to displaced workers.

 

OWWA members can avail of the Balik-Pinas, Balik Hanapbuhay Program - a non-cash livelihood package worth ten thousand (Php 10,000.00) consisting of a starter kit and techno-skills training. Non-OWWA members, on the other hand, shall be referred to the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) for availment of their non-cash training and livelihood program.

 

The OWWA Repatriation Team and the 24/7 Operations Center, in close coordination with the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in KSA,  are in full alert in monitoring the updates on flight advisories and schedules of arrivals of the succeeding batches of returning workers availing of the amnesty program.

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The Philippine government, thru the Philippine Embassy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA),  the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO )in KSA, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA),  are ready to assist undocumented overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who availed of the amnesty offered by the Kingdom this month.

 

DOLE Secretary Silvestre H. Bello lll immediately sent a Team to KSA to assess the situation/condition  of  the workers to make sure that their repatriation will be processed smoothly.  Dubbed as “Nation Without Violations”, the 90-Day Amnesty of Grace Period offered by the Saudi government is a welcome development to OFWs covered by the said `exemption to penalties’.

 

Coverage of the  amnesty are enumerated as follows: residents whose iqama expired on or before 19 March 2017, workers with work permit but no iqama ID card; runaway workers reported as such on or before 19 March 2017, Umrah and Haj overstayer (pilgrimage), pilgrims without Haj permit; and “Inflitrators’ crossing Saudi borders. 

 

The Philippine Embassy encourages the   OFWs and their families here to advise their OFW relatives  to  take the opportunity  and register themselves  and  get  home  with the help of the Philippine government.

 

Once documentation are processed, OWWA Manila will extend airport assistance to returning workers.  OWWA will issue announcements on the batch of returning workers that applied for the amnesty.

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All systems go for the holding of the DOLE-OWWA Job-cum-Livelihood Fair for displaced OFWs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) on Tuesday, 28 March 2017, at the Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC) auditorium at North Avenue cor. Agham Road, Diliman, Quezon City (across Veterans Memorial Medical Center). The event starts at 8:30 in the morning.

 

Dubbed as “Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan: (TNK), the DOLE-OWWA Job and Livelihood Fair held a 3-day pre-registration activity on March 13, 14, and 15 thru on-line registration via philjobnet.ph, and offline registration by visiting OWWA, POEA Assist WELL Desk, NRCO, PESO-LGUs in NCR, Region 3 and Region 4-A.

 

Target of the job and livelihood fair are the displaced OFWs from KSA from the National Capital Region (NCR) and the nearby areas in Region 4-A, and Region 3, formerly employed by the 9 big firms in KSA who experienced financial crunch due to plummeting oil price in the world market namely; Mohammed al-Mojil Group (MMG), Saudi Bin Laden Group of Companies (SBG), Saudi Oger Ltd. (SOL), Mohammad Hameed Al-Bargash & Bros. Trading and Construction, Aluminum Company (ALUMCO L.L.C.), Rajeh H. Al Merri Contracting & Trading Company, Fawzi Salah-Al Nairani Contracting Company, Arabtec Construction L.L.C., and Real Estate Development and Investment Company.

 

Those who pre-registered thru online and offline are advised to bring their stubs with the following documents: resume, certificate of training, diploma, transcript of records, certificate of employment, passport and 1”x1” or 2”x2” ID photos.

 

Twenty (20) overseas recruitment agencies confirmed their participation and 15 local employment agencies registered to the said activity.

 

The organizers of the activity, DOLE-OWWA, POEA, Bureau of Local Employment, DOLE-NCR, and the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) committed to ensure full support to the project.

 

OFW walk-in applicants will also be accommodated and entertained during the event. The government partners anticipate `on-the-spot job hiring’ mostly from the construction and maintenance industry where the majority of the workers came from.

 

OWWA said that the ‘meet’ and ‘hire’ system will be advantageous to pre-registrants who were able to submit their qualifications earlier for possible ‘job matching’ with prospective/participating agencies/employers.

 

Meanwhile, OFWs who do not wish to re-enter employment, and opted to engage in entrepreneurship may register and attend available livelihood sessions such as financial awareness, small business enterprise, franchising, and agricultural enterprise spearheaded by OWWA, NRCO, Global Filipino Investors, Philippine Franchising Association and the Department of Agriculture (DA).

 

The DOLE-OWWA job-cum-livelihood fair will be replicated in other Regional offices nationwide.

 

More than 1,000 OFW job hunters and would-be entrepreneurs are expected to respond to the government’s invitation.

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OWWA assisted 21 repatriated OFWs from Saudi Oger and 31 deportees from Jeddah

OWWA assisted 21 repatriated OFWs from Saudi Oger and 31 deportees from Jeddah today, 21 March 2017. The workers were accorded airport assistance, temporary shelter at the OWWA Halfway Home, and transport services or fares for their onward travel to their respective provinces.

 

#OWWAcares

 

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The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) invites all Marine Deck and Engine Officers to grab the opportunity to avail of the `free training’ for the Updating Management Level Courses (MLCs) offered by the agency to its active members.

 

To respond to the clamor of the Filipino sea based workers for financial subsidy to Marine Deck and Engine Officers who were not able to comply to the 2010 Standards of Training and Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) Convention which will be fully implemented on 01 July 2017, the OWWA Board of Trustees, chaired by Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello lll approved the OWWA Board Resolution No. 14, series of 2017, which allocates Php50 Million as assistance to finance the training of the said sea based workers.

 

Entitled to the financial subsidy which amounts to Seven Thousand Five Hundred Pesos (P7,500.00) are active members who have at least three (3) membership contributions to the Fund, and who have not yet availed any OWWA program covering said contributions.

 

“We hope to enroll as many non-compliant active members as we can as support to the plight of our member-seafarers, who because of their failure to take the MLCs prohibited them to progress to the next step,” OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac said.

 

Filipino seafarers are considered the world’s most in demand in the seafaring industry because of their impressive qualities in terms of skills, technical-know-how, adaptability, reliability and their ability to communicate in English, to name a few. At least two-thirds of the world’s sea based workers are Filipinos.

 

Courses offered for Deck Officer are: Navigation at the Management Level, Controlling the Operation of the Ship and Care for Persons on Board at the Management Level, and for Marine Engineer; Marine Engineering at the Management Level, Electrical and Electronic Control Engineering at the Management Level, Maintenance and Repair at the Management Level, Controlling the Operation of the Ship and Care for Persons on Board at the Management Level.

 

Availees must submit Two (2) copies of accomplished application form, 2 copies of 2x2 photos, seafarer’s Identification and Record Book (SIRB) and passport, Enrollment confirmation, Certification/Endorsement from Principal/Manning Agency that he/she has not yet availed of similar scholarship grant.

 

Application for the MLCs may be filed within 90 days from the date of the seafarer-member’s arrival in the Philippines. Implementation of the Program is until June 30, 2017, without extension.

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