You are here

Home » News

Central News

HEAD OFFICE
OWWA Transforms "Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay! Livelihood Program"

To make its programs and services more responsive and tangible to its member overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Board of Trustees (BOT), chaired by Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello lll approved the enhancement of the livelihood program of the agency dubbed as “Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay! (BPBH).

 

From the livelihood package/assistance provided to its target beneficiaries which is a non-cash support via free entrepreneurial training and provision of a ‘starter kit’ to roll-out the OFW’s business, the BPBH has been transformed into a package of assistance consisting of Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20,000.00), including entrepreneurship development training to jumpstart the returning OFWs’ business ventures.

 

Aside from these services, OWWA offers additional assistance to its member-beneficiaries by referring potential marketing linkages, and partnering with other government institutions such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Department of Agriculture (DA), among others, help OFWs learn the ropes in technical aspects as well as techniques in marketing strategies to sustain the livelihood project.

 

“The essence of BPBH is to teach OFWs to be their ‘own bosses’ hence teach them the value of “self-reliance”, and, eventually, “self-esteem”. Since the businesses will be their own, they should be able to sustain the ‘interest’ to make it as their means of livelihood thus making the most out of the revolving capital. Hopefully, they are able to change their own transformation from being OFWs, into entrepreneurs,” OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac said.

 

Target beneficiaries of the Program are returning OWWA members, active or non-active who were displaced by hostilities or wars/political conflicts, policy reforsm or changes by host governments; victims of illegal recruitment or human trafficking or other distressful situations; Distressed wards at the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Resource Centers who are due for repatriation; and OWWA-members who were employed by foreign employers which are beset with financial difficulties due to economic conditions such as the construction and maintenance companies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

 

For additional details and documentary requirements, qualified members are advised to apply to any OWWA Regional Office nearest their residence, or log on to OWWA website at www.owwa.gov.ph, or contact numbers 8917601 up to 24, local 5217; or contact OWWA OPCEN thru telephone numbers 833-6992 or mobile number/SMS 09175908654.

HEAD OFFICE
OWWA tells OFWs, Families to Subscribe in the "OFW WATCH" Apps

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and OFW Watch, a software program designed to link OFWs in distress, those calling for help, anywhere in the world, anytime of the day, via mobile, are now bona fide partners.

 

The partnership between OWWA and the OFW Watch, Inc. was made official through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between OWWA, represented by Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac, representing the welfare agency, and OFW Watch, Inc., represented by its President, Ms. Myrna Padilla.

 

The ‘brains’ behind the successful Android mobile application service intended for OFW community is a former OFW. As an OFW herself, Ms. Padilla, based on her personal experience of being ‘alone’ in countries where she worked as a domestic helper was awakened by her subconscious to get connected with her family back home through social media.

 

“We are pleased that OFW Watch volunteers its services to us, and we truly appreciate its advocacy of helping fellow Filipino workers use technology to their advantage. It is a one click process of asking ‘help’, data sharing, and other means of internet applications made easy via mobile phones. The OFW Watch immensely contributed change to the mindset of our `kababayans’ working abroad that they have somebody by their side at all times,” OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac said.

 

As partners, OWWA and OFW Watch will complement each other in the planning, designing, and operationalizing technological solutions to address OFW concerns; the two parties work in unison to give OFWs access to OWWA-related services through appropriate Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to make it OFW-friendly courtesy of OFW Watch.

HEAD OFFICE
Saudi Amnesty Program Countdown Reaches 5,376, More to Come

Another group of 40 OFWs from Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), who availed of the “90-Day Amnesty Program” offered by the Kingdom arrived at 3:30 Monday   afternoon at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1, via Cebu Pacific flight 5J741.

 

The 40 returnees is part of the expected 7,000 OFWs who decided to come home after the “KSA 90-Day Nation Without Offenders” campaign ends on June 29, 2017. There are   reports that the campaign is extended, but no official statement has yet received by OWWA from the DFA and DOLE.

 

“We are pleased that the KSA Amnesty Program, has been extended to all foreign workers including the OFWs. The Philippine government, through the Embassy in KSA, and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), coordinated in registering OFWs to the program. Said offices made an all-out effort to ensure that all OFWs whose cases fall under the categories listed by the Saudi government authorities are attended to by our personnel in Saudi,” OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac said. 

 

Qualified to avail of the program include residents whose “iqama” (residence permit/work license) expired on or before March 19, 2017; workers with work permit but no iqama; run away workers reported as such on or before March 19, 2017; Umrah and Haj overstayers (pilgrimage); pilgrims without Haj permit; and “infiltrators” crossing Saudi borders.

 

Post-repatriation  services are accorded  to all repatriated workers including  temporary shelter at the OWWA Halfway Home to those residing  in the provinces; provision of transportation fare  onward to their respective provinces, psycho-social counseling, among others. The OWWA Team, Cacdac added, is on a 24-hour-round- the- clock duty to extend assistance to the OFWs.

HEAD OFFICE
DOLE-OWWA to Aid Displaced OFWs/Families in Marawi

Responding immediately to the needs of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families affected by the conflict in Marawi City which saw hundreds of OFWs and their families evacuating the area unto their relatives to nearby provinces, Secretary  Silvestre H. Bello lll directed  Overseas Workers Welfare Administrator (OWWA) Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac to assess the situation and  help displaced  OWWA members  at once.

 

Accordingly, Administrator Cacdac dispatched teams from the agency’s Regional Welfare Office (RWO) 10 in Cagayan de Oro City to coordinate with the local government units (LGUs) and ascertain the number of OWWA members needing assistance.

 

“Our RWO 10 database registered a total of 1,418 OWWA members, both active and inactive.  We were told that from the time the fighting among the government troops and the ‘maute’ group began,   chaotic situation engulfed the area and residents left their homes sans their belongings and valuables.  Thus, we are ready to give cash assistance to help them in the financial aspect relative to their needs especially food and other basic essentials,” the OWWA Chief said.

 

The financial aid for displaced OFWs, the OWWA head added, is pursuant to OWWA Board Resolution No. 07, Series of 2017, under OWWA’s Welfare Assistance Program (WAP).

 

The agency will allocate the amount of P2.7M for the program where active OWWA members will receive P3,000.00 each; while non-active  OWWA members at P1,500.00 each.

 

Claimants/availees of the WAP may get in touch with RWO 10 for documentary requirements through the following contact numbers: (88)857 8511; 0917 548 0033.

HEAD OFFICE

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

HEAD OFFICE
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.

HEAD OFFICE
Anniversary Message of Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac

Anniversary Message of Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac

 

 

 

 

HEAD OFFICE
OWWA 35th Founding Anniversary
HEAD OFFICE

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.

HEAD OFFICE

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.

Pages