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RWO V

Iriga City – Aiming to provide local and overseas employment opportunities to the locals of Rinconada area, the City Government of Iriga hosted its Jobs Fair activity at the La Consolacion College on December 28, 2017.
 
Public Employment Service Office Manager Nestor Awa said that “this move is to promote Iriga as a city of character to protect job seekers for overseas employment from illegal recruiters and continuously monitor the safety of the overseas workers.”
 
The aim of the jobs’ fair is to provide employment counseling, job matching, job referrals, and employment information services to contribute in the improvement of the labor industry of the city. Recruitment agencies for both local and overseas placement participated in the jobs fair activity.
 
OWWA RWO5 took part, along with the other line agencies, in attending to the needs and concerns of some applicants and would-be-OFWs. 

RWO V

Ligao City - The City of sunflowers boosted the sunshine of hope for its OFW communities on December 18, 2017. Its Local Chief Executive, Mayor Patricia Gonzales - Alsua initiated the symposium for migrant workers in celebration of the Month of Overseas Filipino and International Migrants Day. The dissemination of programs and services of different stakeholders pertaining to migration and understanding issues raised by international migration to development were the rationale of the symposium.

 

OWWA RWO5 presented its programs and services to 100 migrant workers and residents of the city. Some of the attendees are representatives of OFWs. They were keen in listening while others made the orientation interactive by asking queries relative to what programs they want to avail with the agency. 

 

The National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) presented their programs for undocumented migrant workers through its area coordinator, Kristine Oliveros. 

 

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration strengthened their campaign on anti illegal recruitment through its Labor Employment Officer, Jayla Bitudio. She further discussed the role of their agency in terms of deployment.

 

The mayor of Ligao was grateful that government agencies have programs readily available for those working or have worked abroad, documented and undocumented. Mayor Alsua shared that she was once an OFW herself and that she understands the plight of working away from home.

RWO ARMM

COTABATO CITY – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration – Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (OWWA-ARMM) conducted the 2017 Scholars’ Congress last December 20-21, 2017 at EM Manor Hotel and Convention Center, Cotabato City.

The event was graced by OIC Odin T. Abdula who delivered a meaningful and inspiring message which motivates the scholars in their professional growth.

OWWO III Bai Lejanie D. Vidal and Hamid K. Chio stated the purpose of the activity and labelled the expectations of the scholars.

Scholars’ Congress is an avowal of the OWWA-ARMM’s commitment to assist its scholars, not only in providing financial assistance, but also in the promotion of their holistic development as individuals”, Vidal said.

During the training proper, Ms. Noraida S. Chio, Senior Project Officer of The Asia Foundation (TAF) discussed “The Role of the Youth in Preventing Violent Extremism”. Afterwards, she gave a short activity about the topic. The scholars, by group, actively participated and chose their representative who will explain their outputs. Lastly, Ms. Chio gave the scholars an opportunity to have an open forum regarding the topic.

 

Cordillera Administrative Region

Rosana (not her real name) went to Cyprus to work as domestic worker. Just like thousands of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), she went overseas with big dreams for her family.  And just like hundreds of OFWs who seemed to have ran out of luck, they were subjected to various inhumane condition that almost broke them, not only physically but also mentally. Her employer fed her food not fit for human consumption, either beyond expiration date or almost spoiled already; she was allowed to wash her clothes only once a month; she was forced to clean houses of her employer’s relatives, and her salary is not paid on time.  Ana’s (not her real name) story is almost as same as Rosana’s but this time, Ana was forced to take care not only her employer’s children but also her pets.  Ana had to groom and walk 4 dogs and 4 cats aside from the 2 children she had to take care.  Ana said she tried to endure the situation, until she developed skin allergy due to the pets. She went home with rashes and hives as reminders of her unfortunate experience.

These are just some of the conditions that our OFWs had to endure when they work overseas.  OWWA, as the lead government agency that serves the interest and welfare of OFWs, try its best to alleviate such condition by offering them programs and services such as the Balik-Pinas Balik Hanapbuhay (BPBH) Program. This program is a package of livelihood support/assistance intended to provide immediate relief to returning member-OFWs active or non-active who were:

1) Displaced by hostilities or wars/political conflicts, policy reforms or changes by host governments;

2) Victims of illegal recruitment or human trafficking or other distressful situations;

3) Distressed wards at the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Resource Centers who are due for repatriation;

4) Repatriated OWWA-members who were employed by foreign employers which are beset with financial difficulties due to economic conditions, such as construction and maintenance companies in Saudi Arabia

A total of 132 OFWs from the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) received PhP20,000.00 cash assistance from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration to help them start or expand their existing business enterprise that would help them support their families. Baguio City and Benguet province has the highest recipients with 66 OFWs, second is Abra with 27, third is Ifugao with 20, Apayao with 9, Kalinga with 6, and Mt. Province with 4. Distressed OFWs can file their applications within 3 years from the latest date of their arrival in the Philippines. 

For those OFWs who may have the same experience, you can apply for the BPBH program at the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration-Cordillera Administrative Region (OWWA CAR) under the leadership of OIC Regional Director Evelyn C. Laranang. OWWA-CAR can be reached through hotline number 445-2260 or mobile numbers 0999-994-9296 or 0917-500-1294. (END)

 

From left is OIC Regional Director Evelyn C. Laranang with George Lubin of DOLE Abra (right in blue t-shirt) personally awarded the livelihood cash assistance to OFWs from Abra during the Abra OFW Family Day 2017.

(From L-R) Windelin Marquez (OIC-PSD OWWA), Evelyn C. Laranang (OIC-RD OWWA), Apayao Congresswoman Eleanor Bulut-Begtang, Darwin Hombrebueno of DOLE-Apayao Provincial Office  with the Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay Program beneficiaries .

(At the center) Evelyn C. Laranang (OIC-RD of OWWA CAR) with ViceMayor Edison Bilog (in blue) of Baguio City awarded the livelihood cash assistance to OFWs under the Balik Pinas Balik Hanap Buhay Program during the Baguio-Benguet OFW Family Day  on December  9, 2017.

Awarding of Checks to OFW beneficiaries under Balik Pinas Balik Hanap Buhay during the celebration of 2017 Ifugao Family Day. Said checks were awarded by Family welfare Officer Flordeliza Calacal , Lourdes I. Estocapio (OWWO III) and  Avelina Manganip of DOLE Provincial Office.

National Capital Region
25 Filipino Domestic Workers (DW) recruited by Magsaysay Global Services, Inc. bound for Japan attended the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) conducted by RWO-NCR at the OWWA Training Center, Bocobo, Manila on 28 February 2017.
Magsaysay Global Services, Inc. is a land-based manpower and human resources services that provides strategic recruitment, staffing and management services to different countries. In partnership with Japanese-based recruitment agency Pasona Group, Inc., the agency has recently deployed the Filipino DWs to Japan after 400 hours of successful training.
The Japanese government implemented the National Strategic Special Zone allowing the hiring of hundreds of foreign nationals to engage in housekeeping services in several zones such as Tokyo, Osaka, and Kanagawa in July 2016. The system also provides foreign workers to receive a special visa which permits them to stay in Japan for a maximum of three years. The foreign domestic workers are hired considering the increasing need of Japan to assuage their citizens of lessening the pressures of domestic work to maintain their jobs.
Ms. Jonalyn Abila, who is now working as a DW in Japan, emphasized the importance of the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) and said that “the program helped me understand the written contents of my contract and made me aware of the rules and regulations in working with the Japanese.”  Ms. Edelyn Golloso, another DW in Japan, said that “PDOS helped us to be familiar with the culture of the host country where we will be working.” She added that “The stress management training also helped me and my fellow OFWs because it teaches us how to handle problems in a calm way.” Lastly, she said that “the information on government programs and services are very important in guiding us on how to avail them.”  
The OWWA Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) is a whole day orientation covering topics on employment contract, country of destination, stages of the OFW’s life abroad, and health and safety measures. It also teaches financial literacy in equipping OFWs with skills in managing their finances while working abroad. 
 
National Capital Region

Conference at AIM Highlights Results of 3-Year Study on OFWs by OWWA and AIM

 

In 2014-2017 a research team from OWWA and AIM followed 2,000 first-time Filipino domestic workers who went to work in Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia, and their family left behind. All OFWs have to take the PDOS or Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar. The objective of the study was to test the impact of new modules for the PDOS as well as to gain insights on how domestic workers and their families adjust to having a family member become an OFW.

 

The PDOS program has been running since 1983 by POEA and OWWA, and this marks the first time that OWWA partnered with an academic institution to do a long-term evidence-based impact evaluation of the program. For AIM, on the other hand, the research is in line with AIM’s focus on business and society, and this study was an opportunity to bring theories and rigorous statistical techniques to a sector that is very important for the country, namely OFWs.

 

Together, an OWWA-AIM research team experimented with 4 new twists on the basic PDOS modules. The first was a new financial literacy module using a comic-book format to teach 4 basic simple messages that are critical to savings. The second experiment was to send savings reminders every 15 days to the OFWs, and the third was using the experience directly from ex-abroads in setting expectations of first-time DWs. The fourth experiment was a gift of dried mangoes that DWs were instructed to give to their employer to make a good first impression upon arrival in HK or KSA. The latter draws on the theories of behavioral economics that are increasingly being used to elicit desired behavior without heavy direction.

 

2,000 domestic workers were randomly assigned to a comparison group and a project group. The DWs and their families were interviewed just prior to the departure of the DW, and again after 8 months on the job and finally at the end of the work contract. The project has gathered a large amount of data on domestic workers including communcations, remittances, savings and expenditure decisions, and attitudes. The findings and their implications for policy will be presented at a conference in AIM on Oct 24, 2017 which will be attended by government representatives, migrant groups, NGOs and academe.

 

The study was financed by a grant to AIM from 3ie, The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation. 3ie is an international grant-making NGO promoting evidence-based development policies and program. The main funders of 3ie are the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UKaid, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

RWO VII

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration XII joined the City of Koronadal as it officially opened its 17th Charter Anniversary and 7th Negosyo Festival with the theme "Linking People Towards Global AgriculTourism Business" last October 5, 2017. 

            Various activities were prepared by the City Government of Koronadal for its 4-day celebration this year. Among them are the Kasalan ng Bayan Ceremonies, simultaneous Trade Fair Exhibits, Anniversary Lunch at the Park, Awarding of Livelihood Grants to various sectors and Binayle sa Parke 2017.

For the whole month of October consumers may avail of big discounts from malls, department stores, and other commercial establishments in the city.

Koronadal City is the regional seat of the SOCCSKSARGEN region and one of the small bustling cities in Mindanao that moves to the progress of all people in South Cotabato.

 

RWO VIII

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office VIII joined the lecture on Financial Literacy and Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 last September 28, 2017 at the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) School Building No. 3, Tacloban City.

The lecture was participated by eighty-one (81) seafarers currently enrolled in Maritime Labour Convention (MLC). Engr. Ponciano V. Trinidad, OIC, Maritime Training and Assessment Division open the event and welcomed the participants to the one-day lecture seminar.

Among the resource persons for the activity who were introduced by Ms. Peñafiel Flor M. Legua, Head of NMP HRM Section, were Ms. Heidi A. Hosillios, Overseas Workers Welfare II, who gave lecture on financial literacy and Atty. John Rio A. Bautista, OIC, Director II, Legal Research, Docket and Enforcement Branch, POEA, who gave lecture on the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006.

Ms. Hosillos started her lecture defining financial literacy and citing its importance especially to the OFWs. She also shared a glimpse of the positive effects of working overseas as well as its challenges and obstacles. She pointed out the benefits of having a sound financial plan.

After the intensive lecture workshop, Ms. Hosillos, then gave tips on how to achieve financial freedom, which is to plan, save and invest their money. Clearly defining every family member’s needs and wants will also help in achieving financial freedom.

After the financial literacy the participants were likewise given a lecture by Atty. John Rio A. Bautista, OIC-Director II of Legal Research, Docket and Enforcement Branch.

The activity concluded with the awarding of certificates of appreciation to the resource speakers.

OWWA RWO 8 continues to carry on with its mission of promoting the welfare of OFWs and their families thru the conduct of different lectures and seminars to enhance their capacities and technical know-hows

(Participants attentively listening to the lecture on financial planning)

(Ms. Hosillos sharing her knowledge on financial literacy to the MLC 2006 availees of NMP)

 

 

RWO VIII

 

With the endeavour to give proper recognition to the outstanding achievements of the OFWs and their families and to highlight the role of the OFW family acting as a group in the attainment of socio-civic, educational, professional and material success, OWWA once again held its search for Model OFW Family of the Year Awards. 

Three families were nominated for the land-based category namely Engr. Salvador S. Villalino Sr., and Family from Catbalogan City, Mr. William B. Aner and Family from Catbalogan City and Engr. Felipe D. Edradan Jr. and Family from Burauen, Leyte. For the sea-based category, nominees were Engr. Pedro A. Atibagos and Family from Burauen, Leyte, Capt. Rodello M. Ponay and Family from Catbalogan City and Mr. Enrico D. Songahid and Family from Burauen, Leyte.

This year marks the 12th Model OFW Family of the Year Awards. The screening and selection process was held at Ocho Seafood and Grill last September 15, 2017 in which winners were deliberated scrupulously by the critical minds and expertise of the following board of judges: Executive Director of National Maritime Polytechnic Regional Office VIII, Director Romulo V. Bernardes, Regional Director 

(The stage is set for this year’s Model OFW Family of the Award)

Three families were nominated for the land-based category namely Engr. Salvador S. Villalino Sr., and Family from Catbalogan City, Mr. William B. Aner and Family from Catbalogan City and Engr. Felipe D. Edradan Jr. and Family from Burauen, Leyte. For the sea-based category, nominees were Engr. Pedro A. Atibagos and Family from Burauen, Leyte, Capt. Rodello M. Ponay and Family from Catbalogan City and Mr. Enrico D. Songahid and Family from Burauen, Leyte.

(Members of the Board of Judges from left Rev. Fr. Kim Margallo, Deputy Directo-NMP, Mayla Macadawan, Executive Director-NMP, Romulo V. Bernardes, TESDA Regional Directo, Toni June A. Tamayo and DOLE RO8 Regional Director Joel M. Gonzales)

(Atty. Kerwin Leonida delivering his message)

RWO I

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) encourages its member-overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) or their qualified dependents in Ilocos Region to take advantage of its scholarship program on technical-vocational skills development.

The OWWA Skills For Employment Scholarship Program (SESP) aims to provide training assistance to OFWs or their qualified dependents who desire to enroll in any tech-voc courses in any training institute accredited by the TESDA.

The SESP provides P14,500 educational assistance to scholars as they complete their TESDA-accredited tech-voc courses leading to their acquisition of a National Certificate (NC) II or NC III related to their skill.

Qualified to apply are OFWs who are active OWWA members, or their qualified dependents namely spouse or child below 24 years of age for married OFWs; or sibling below 24 years of age for single OFWs. The scholarship applicant must have at least finished high school.

In Region 1, among the most common tech-voc courses being applied for the SESP include Welding, Caregiving, Cookery, Visual Graphic Design, Bartending, among many others.

Interested qualified applicants in Region 1 may get in touch with the OWWA Regional Welfare Office 1 thru hotline number 0908 863 4250, email at owwalaunion@yahoo.com, or thru its official Facebook page, facebook.com/owwarwo1.
 
 
 

OFWs who are active members of OWWA, or their qualified dependents, are encouraged to apply for the scholarship program of OWWA on technical-vocational training. Called the SESP, the program gives P14,500 assistance to qualified scholars.

 
 

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