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The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya’s Bantay Bata 163 forged a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on the protection of children of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) dubbed as “Aruga’t Kalinga para sa Batang Pilipino”,

The MOA was signed today, 08 May 2018, by Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre H. Bello, III, Chair of the OWWA Board of Trustees, and Ms. Susanna Rachel B. Afan, Managing Director of ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc.

The signing was witnessed by DOLE Undersecretary Jacinto V. Paras, OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac, OWWA Deputy Administrators Josefino I. Torres and Arnaldo A. Ignacio, Jing Castañeda, Jacel J. Paguio and Angelita A. Lara of Bantay Bata 163.

This partnership shall maximize the advocacy and media strategies in saturating the public on the information regarding the responsibilities for the protection of the OFW and their family members left behind, particularly the minor children of the overseas workers. (END)


Media Release

Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime Technical Experts Group on Returns and Reintegration

Manila, 23-24 April 201

Under the auspices of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime (the Bali Process), Australia and the Philippines co-chaired the inaugural Technical Experts Group on Returns and Reintegration (RRG) in Manila on 23-24 April 2018. The RRG built upon outcomes from the December 2015 Roundtable on Returns and Reintegration, and a directive from the Sixth Bali Process Ministerial Conference in March 2016

The RRG was attended by delegates from Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Viet Nam, IOM (Brussels and Jakarta offices), UNHCR, UNDP-UNACT, and the Bali Process Regional Support Office. The inaugural meeting of the RRG promoted greater understanding among participants of the challenges and shared interests in managing the return and reintegration of people who do not have a lawful basis to remain in another country.

Opening the meeting, Undersecretary Claro A. Arellano of the Philippine Department of Labor and Employment, said “members’ attendance demonstrates

the growing level of commitment to practical measures we can all take to address the issues of regional returns and reintegration”. Undersecretary Arellano also highlighted the challenges faced by states, and briefed the group on the Philippine Government’s management of the protection of the rights and promotion of the welfare of over 10 million overseas Filipino workers.

Participants expressed a preference for the voluntary return of migrants where possible, but acknowledged the need for forced returns as part of a comprehensive and balanced approach to migration management. Delegates shared lessons learned through the implementation of return and reintegration programs, and provided constructive feedback on the draft Bali Process Policy Guide on Returns and Reintegration—which members agreed to take forward through future meetings of the RRG.

Cooperation on sustainable returns is a priority under the Bali Process Regional Cooperation Framework and the 2013 Jakarta Declaration. Throughout discussions, participants highlighted the importance of a whole-of-society approach toward ensuring dignified, safe and humane returns of all migrants, regardless of their status.

Delegates recommended that Australia and the Philippines remain as co-chairs for the initial phase, and that the RRG meet at least once annually.

“I would like to congratulate the Bali Process Member Countries, the IOM, and the co-chairs: Australia and the Philippines for the successful conduct of the

Technical Experts Group Meeting. The Philippines accepts to continue the RRG co-chairmanship with Australia. We are always ready to share our expertise to the Bali Process member countries to achieve its objectives for a safe and dignified return and reintegration of migrants.” Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III of the Philippine Department of Labor and Employment said after the RRG meeting.


OWWA releases names of scholarship qualifiers for SY 2018

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has announced 450 new qualifiers to the Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP) and Congressional Migrant Workers Scholarship Program (CMWSP) for school year 2018-2019.

Of the 3,249 children of OWWA members who vied for the DOST-SEI Undergraduate Scholarship Examination conducted last year in 17 regions and in Alkhobar and Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, only 13.85% made it to the top 400 slots enlisted for the EDSP and 50 slots for the CMWSP.

Mr. Joshua Therell Sayos Cuesta and Gian Dacono Nartea, both from the International Philippine School in Alkhobar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia placed first and second in the EDSP while Jenie Basing-at Cabinto of the University of Cordilleras, Cordillera Autonomous Region and Roland Lester Orquiza Odato of Dacap Norte National High School, Pangasinan were ranked first and second among the CMWSP examinees.

Regions with the highest number of qualifiers are:

Region IV-A – 70 CAR----- 12
NCR ----------– 66 II -------- 10
III -------------– 36 ARMM -- 6
VI -------------– 35 I ---------- 6
V --------------- 28 VII -------- 6

Since its inception in 2004, OWWA’s EDSP program has expended P317.5 million for 1,500 OFW dependents. It has produced 917 graduates, some with latin honors.

Qualifying examination for the EDSP and CMWSP were last administered in October 2015 due to the implementation of the K-12 in 2016. Application for the scholarship programs had to be stalled for a year and reinstated in 2017 with the first batch of senior high school students taking the exam in November. Hence, the 450 scholarship qualifiers are the first batch of the K-12 system.

The EDSP and CMWSP are competitive scholarship programs of OWWA where the qualified dependents are granted financial assistance of P60,000 per school year to enroll in any 4-5 year baccalaureate course in the university or college of their choice. Aside from financial assistance, OWWA scholars are covered with group health and accident insurance amounting to P300,000. While EDSP is wholly funded by OWWA and given to dependents of active OWWA members, the CMWSP fund is sourced from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office by virtue of Republic Act 8042 or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 and is extended to deserving migrant workers and their immediate descendants regardless of status of OWWA membership.

OWWA Administrator Hans Cacdac salutes the OFW parents and their children. “Despite the distance and absence, the latter continue to excel in school. Their strong values and commitment to achieve common goals are worth emulating. We believe that these new breed of scholars will bring honor and pride to our country and to our Filipino workforce,” he said.


OWWA holds First MDO Congress in Region 1

For the first time ever, migrant desk officers (MDOs) from various local government units (LGUs) in Region 1 have gathered for the first Regional MDO Congress in the Philippines, held on April 12-13, 2018 in Pangasinan.

Led by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office I (OWWA RWOI), the activity convened the MDOs with the objective of strengthening them as OWWA’s partner in the LGUs in the delivery of services to member-overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families.

A total of 105 MDOs took part in the congress; 46 were from Pangasinan, 18 from La Union, 26 from Ilocos Sur, and 15 from Ilocos Norte.

Highlight of the gathering was the forum discussions on the MDOs’ roles in the migration governance, held on April 12, 2018 at the Leisure Coast, Dagupan City. Hon. Marianito D. Roque, former OWWA Administrator and former Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary, discussed on the legal foundation for the establishment of Migrant Desks in the LGUs. Hon. Roque, who pioneered in the formalization of partnerships of OWWA and the LGUs, zeroed in on the importance of these institutional partnerships in the overseas employment programs of the government.

Mr. Donald James D. Gawe, Assistant Regional Director of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Region 1, discussed on the thrusts, policies, and plans on migration development in Region 1.

Sharing their LGU’s experience on migration governance were the Provincial Governments of Batangas and Pangasinan, and the City Government of Dagupan. Ms. Florita C. Lachica, Assistant Department Head of the Batangas Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), discussed on Migration Development Plan as a Tool in the Development. Meanwhile, Mr. Alex F. Ferrer, Pangasinan Public Employment Services Office (PESO) Manager, highlighted on the MDOs’ role in initiating OFW-focused projects and policies in the LGU level. Dagupan City Admin. Farah Marie Decano, who represented Mayor Belen Fernandez, shared the city’s vision for its OFW-constituents.

The forum discussions were followed by the election of officers in the Regional MDO Council, where Mr. Roel Sabado of Rosales, Pangasinan was elected as president, and Mr. Rizaldy Organo of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Sur as vice president.

The MDOs also took part in the Gala Walk and Awards Night held at the Sison Auditorium, Lingayen, Pangasinan. Several MDOs were recognized by the OWWA for the exceptional performances and unparalleled services as the OWWA focal person in their respective LGUs.

Named as the Most Outstanding MDO in Region 1 was the Provincial Government of Pangasinan, through MDOs Christopher Dioquino and Elizardo Laureta. The Oustanding MDOs in the provincial level, meanwhile, were LGU Rosales, (through MDO Roel Sabado) for Pangasinan; Provincial Government of La Union (through MDO Charito Dator) for La Union; LGU Candon (through MDO Judy W. Liao) for Ilocos Sur; and the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (through MDO Dolores S. Cortes) for Ilocos Norte.

OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac expressed his deep gratitude to the MDOs for their strong and passionate partnership with the OWWA. He encouraged them to continue their sincere and heartfelt service to their OFW-constituencies. “May you be the embodiment of our tagline: the OWWA Cares because the MDOs care,” Admin. Cacdac said.

The congress centered on the theme, “Revisiting Roots, Renewing the Spirit, Upholding and Unifying Efforts Towards a Better Service for our OFWs and their families.”

Pangasinan registered the most number of participants in the first Regional MDO Congress in the Philippines; a total of 46 MDOs from Pangasinan were in attendance.

A total of 18 MDOs from La Union also took part in the congress.

MDOs from Ilocos Norte were also in attendance during the first MDO Congress in the Philippines.

A total of 26 MDOs from Ilocos Sur participated in the congress.

The OWWA endeavors to strengthen its partnerships to the local government units, and the first Regional MDO Congress aims to hit that objective. From left to right are: OWWA Admin. Hans Leo J. Cacdac; Former DOLE Sec. and Former OWWA Admin. Marianito Roque; and, OWWA RWOI OIC Dir. Gerardo Rimorin.

The Regional MDO Congress, the first of its kind in the Philippines, was highlighted by forum discussions on the strengthening of government efforts in migration management and the delivery of assistance and services to the OFWs and their families. From left to right are:; Dagupan City Admin. Atty Farah Marie G. Decano; Pangasinan PESO Manager Alex Ferrer; NEDA R1 Asst. Regional Dir. Donald James Gawe; and Batangas PSWDO Asst. Dept. Head Florita Lachica.


OWWA-ARMM inks MOA with academe

COTABATO CITY - In its continuing effort to serve the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their families, a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration – Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (OWWA-ARMM) and the University of Southern Mindanao (USM) was signed to give full support to the OWWA’s OFW Dependents Scholarship Program (OFWDSP).

The signing was led by OWWA-ARMM Regional Director Amy B. Crisostomo and USM School Director Dr. Taha P. Pido who finalized the agreement in a ceremony held on March 7, 2018 at the Office of the Provincial Governor, Buluan, Maguindanao

Also present at the event as witnesses were OWWA-ARMM FWO Moctar S. Ulama and Maguindanao Provincial Administrator Engr. Abdulwahab V. Tunga.

The agreement will strengthen the partnership between the agency and the university in providing scholarship programs to its clients, specifically OWWA members and their beneficiaries in the autonomous region.

Under the agreement, the university shall primarily give professional and technical trainings on students to

become locally and globally competitive and provide access to quality public higher education through quality teaching and learning.

Director Crisostomo said the agreement is a step forward in strengthening the new partnership of OWWA and USM that OFWs and their dependents will gain access to a quality higher education.

“We will continue to seek for prospective partners to provide the agency’s scholars a wider range of options in selecting the right schools that could best meet their needs and interests,” she added.

USM School Director Dr. Taha P. Pido (left), Maguindanao Provincial Administrator Engr. Abdulwahab V. Tunga (middle), and OWWA-ARMM FWO Moctar S. Ulama (right) during the signing of the agreement.



Koronadal City – A total of four hundred ten (410) distressed and displaced Overseas Filipino Workers from all over the SOCCSKSARGEN region received twenty thousand pesos (P 20,000.00) cash livelihood assistance each under the Balik Pinas, Balik Hanapbuhay Program (BPBH) of the agency for the period January 1, 2018 to March 19, 2018.

OIC-Director Marlyn E. Jamero said that Balik Pinas, Balik Hanapbuhay Program is a start-up for returning modern heroes to become the persons-in-charge of their chosen enterprises. Further, she said that it is one of the reintegration programs of OWWA offered to OFWs that equips them with entrepreneurial skills.

The said program is a package consisting of cash assistance, related trainings on financial literacy and entrepreneurship and other services that will enable the target beneficiaries to promptly start their livelihood undertakings.

Aside from the aforementioned services, OWWA XII also facilitates referral and partnering with other government institutions such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Department of Agriculture (DA) to further develop technical aspects as well as techniques in marketing strategies to sustain the livelihood project.

BPBH Recipients from Banga, South Cotabato.

&nbsp &nbsp Furthermore, series of monitoring to previous availees of then ten thousand pesos (Php 10,000.00) livelihood assistance is conducted by the office to ensure continuous development of their livelihoods and for possible additional ten thousand pesos (Php 10,000.00) cash assistance.

&nbsp &nbsp An OFW BPBH-recipient may utilize their acquired skills for their chosen enterprises related to foods and drinks, online business, health and wellness, arts and crafts, green business, and many others.

&nbsp &nbsp The Balik Pinas, Balik Hanapbuhay is a P 20,000 worth of livelihood assistance under OWWA's reintegration program given to OFWs who were not able to finish their contracts due to unfortunate circumstances. The program aims to provide steady income stream to our modern heroes for them not to work abroad again.

&nbsp &nbsp For additional details, evaluation and necessary documentary requirements, qualified members are advised to visit our Regional Welfare Office located at Ilao Bldg., Judge Alba Street, Brgy. Zone 3, Koronadal City or contact our BPBH Hotline Numbers @ 0997-3519-015/0909-2735-72



A total of One Hundred Two (102) Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their dependents successfully completed the Demo Farm Immersion and Visitation spearheaded by Overseas Workers Welfare Administration XII last March 26-27, 2018 held at VMotril’s Farm, Brgy. Crossing Rubber, Tupi, South Cotabato.

The one-day benchmarking activity aims to provide them with necessary insights and knowledge as they engage in their chosen businesses. Furthermore, it provides them with valuable ideas on how to properly address issues concerning financial, marketing and management aspects in an entrepreneurial endeavor.

The activity is part of the Social Preparation Stage of the OFWs and dependents who applied under the OFW – Enterprise Development and Loan Program (OFW –EDLP) of the agency.

OFW Victoria E. Motril, 2013 MOFYA Entrepreneurship Awardee and one of the Resource Speakers, emphasized in her lecture the need to assess first the target market in putting-up any enterprise

Other speakers were OFW Rochelle E. Siroy for retail and distribution (Kape Sa Kubo), Raylin O. Castillo for Transport Services (Board of Director, Satsai) and OFW dependent Cristina A. Padilla for Water Refilling Station (Aqua Dos Water Refilling Station).

As the region’s most renowned entrepreneurs, the resource persons offered lectures and seminars related in their line of businesses in order to provide the EDLP applicants with various techniques and strategies in putting-up and developing their trades.

Officer-in-Charge Marlyn E. Jamero said that the activity is just one of the agency’s mechanisms to support OFWs’ business endeavors. She also said that the agency is trying to build relationship among other government agencies for possible provision of related seminars and trainings to ensure continuous learning.

The OFW – Enterprise Development and Loan Program, formerly known as 2B OFW Reintegration Program (OFW –RP), is an enterprise development intervention and loan facility of OWWA in partnership with Land Bank of the Philippines.



IT Instructor Joseph Bryan E. Dolido together with the participants from kidapwan City.

&nbsp &nbsp In order to adapt with the changes in communication process brought by technology, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration XII regularly conducts a free Information Technology training to interested OFWs and dependents in the region.

&nbsp &nbsp The free IT training program is a computer literacy program of OWWA to OFWs and their dependents which aims to bridge the communication gap between OFWs and their families.

&nbsp &nbsp Applicants who already have a basic knowledge in information technology are also encouraged to avail the program in order to upgrade their IT skills for personal growth and employment purposes.

&nbsp &nbsp As of this writing, two hundred ninety seven (297) already graduated under the free IT training program of OWWA. These graduates include members of OFCs and walk-in clients.

&nbsp &nbsp OWWA IT Program Instructor Engr. Joseph Bryan E. Dolido said that information technology is a never ending process that needs to be learned in order to enjoy the perks of the future. He further extended his gratitude to all the program-graduates for their full cooperation and participation resulting to the success of the trainings conducted.

&nbsp &nbsp Included in the training modules are the following short term courses: Computer Fundamentals, Internet & WWW Fundamentals, Learn & Earn (Using Technology Wisely), Word Processing Fundamentals, Presentation Fundamentals, Spreadsheet Fundamentals, and Digital Media Fundamentals.

&nbsp &nbsp OIC-Director Marlyn E. Jamero said that computer literacy is deemed necessary in order for OFW dependents to conveniently communicate with their love ones who are working overseas.

&nbsp &nbsp The free IT training program of OWWA XII is open for all. Interested applicants are advised to visit our office located at Ilao Bldg., Judge Alba Street, Brgy. Zone III, Koronadal City.



The participants of the 8th Scholars’ Conference together with the Resource Speaker and OWWA XII personnel.

&nbsp &nbsp To further equip its scholars with timely and useful learning, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration XII recently conducted the 8th Scholars’ Conference at Paraiso Verde Water Park and Resort, Koronadal City dubbed as “Seminar-Workshop on Business Etiquette and Grooming” last April 5-6, 2018.

&nbsp &nbsp The 2-day activity was actively participated by a total of thirty – six (36) scholars under the agency’s various scholarship programs, namely: Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP), OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (ODSP), Congressional Migrant Worker Scholarship Program (CMWSP) and Education and Livelihood Assistance Program (ELAP) – Education Component.

&nbsp &nbsp This year’s scholars’ conference placed emphasis on improving scholars’ personalities for future employment and dealings. The activity aims to provide avenue in the learning development of scholars in the whole of SOCCSKSARGEN region.

&nbsp &nbsp The whole duration of the activity was filled with learning and fun as the methodologies and techniques used by the speaker complements with the expectations of the scholars. Among the activities conducted were group sharing and discussions, learning sessions, reporting and role plays.

&nbsp &nbsp One of the highlights of the scholars’ conference is the awarding of certificates of recognition to OWWA scholars who graduated this school year. Moreover, a tribute was given by the scholars to OWWA XII Personnel.

&nbsp &nbsp Officer-in-Charge Marlyn E. Jamero, overwhelmed of the tribute, said, “It is so heart-warming to know that scholars appreciate our simple efforts”. She also believes that it is truly necessary to provide them with the opportunity to engage in worthwhile seminars and trainings outside of their usual set-up in their respective institutions.

&nbsp &nbsp Meanwhile, Scholarship Program In-Charge Kristine Marie H. Sison said, "We always give the best of our efforts to provide our scholars with trainings and seminars which are necessary to address their urgent needs and concerns”.

&nbsp &nbsp The Scholars’ Conference is an annual learning support mechanism of the agency that aims to provide its scholars with worthwhile trainings and seminars to support their learning development.

Group of Scholars actively participate in one of the workshops conducted.

Team Bagani proudly displays the product of their creativity.



OFW Fernando Castro, a BPBH beneficiary showcases his bakery products

Mr. Fernando Castro, a beneficiary of the Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay! Program visited the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office – National Capital Region (OWWA RWO – NCR) to show with pride his new business and express his gratitude to OWWA for the opportunity to engage in a small business last 22 December 2017.

Formerly an OFW who worked in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mr. Castro was one of many workers who were sent home because his company suffered financial losses due to prevailing economic condition in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The closing of his company left him without his daily earnings for many months. He was also among those OFWs who sought assistance from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) and OWWA for settlement of their unpaid salaries. Since he could no longer wait for the settlement of his unpaid wages and other benefits, he decided to be repatriated to the Philippines.

Upon return to the country, Mr. Castro availed of the Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay!, program aimed at providing OWWA members, active or non-active, financial assistance as immediate relief to returning OFWs who were displaced due to war, political conflicts, policy reform controls, or changes by the host government. Victims of illegal recruitment, human trafficking, and other distressful situations are also given assistance under the program.

In October 2017, the program was improved by increasing the amount of financial assistance from P10,000 to P20,000 to ensure that the cash assistance is sufficient as a start-up capital for livelihood projects of beneficiaries. It also gives them the responsibility to use the cash assistance in purchasing the required goods, equipment, and other implements for the type of business they would like to engage in.

OFW Castro was able to put up his bakery with commitment and dedication to ensure its success. He said that “because of the 20K financial assistance from OWWA, I was able to buy baking supplies/implements and materials to start my own business.” He also thanked OWWA for the opportunity to start his small business. “Thank you OWWA for giving me the opportunity to start a small business for me and my family.”, OFW Castro said. “Although we are still starting from scratch, the cash assistance will surely help us to become successful in our business ventures.”, he added.