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The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration kicked off its 4th PESO Conference in the Province of Dinagat Islands in time with the province’s Agri-Fishery, Tourism and Industrial Trade Fair 2017. Twenty one (21) PESO managers and their understudy attended the conference at the Don Ruben Training Hall, San Jose, Dinagat Island on October 1, 2017.

            PESO Conference is an annual event spearheaded by the agency in partnership with provincial local government units to capacitate their Public Employment Service Office (PESO) Managers for the eventual boost in the implementation of OWWA Programs and Services and duly impart these to their respective constituents.

            In his message, Regional Director Samuel S. Madrid acknowledged the role of PESO managers as the primary implementing arm of OWWA and POEA in each municipality and city. “What we have in mind is to empower, upgrade and update PESO Officers with the changing and evolving programs and services of OWWA and POEA”, the director said.

            OWWA implements quality, responsive and timely intervention to its member-OFWs. As such, new and amended programs of the agency are trickled down to the PESO Officers for easy and convenient delivery to the clients especially in remote areas.

Meanwhile, POEA regional coordinator for Caraga Ritchel Molero-Butao, discussed the Status of the Direct Hiring Mode of Recruitment as per Sec. 123. Ban on Direct Hires- “No employer shall directly hire an Overseas Filipino Worker for overseas employment.” She also tackled clarification on recruitment outside registered office by securing a Special Recruitment Authority prior to the conduct of the recruitment.

Furthermore, as a major objective of the conference, an update on the releases made by the office on its different programs including the Balik Pinas Balik Hanapbuhay Program and the Welfare Assistance Program- Earthquake was made.

OWWO II Jean Mary G. Ronquillo discussed the revamped Balik Pinas Balik Hanapbuhay Program providing 20,000.00 cash to distressed OFWs who have not finished their contracts overseas. She also introduced the MEDplus program providing supplemental medical relief for active OWWA OFW-members afflicted with dreaded diseases and were hospitalized, either at the jobsite or while in the Philippines.

On the other hand, the Welfare Assistance Program (WAP) was discussed by OIC of PSD, Ma. Ireen C. Cambaling. WAP is an assistance for Calamity, Bereavement, Medical and Relief extended to OWWA members, active or non-active, and/or their families, who are not eligible under any of the existing OWWA social benefit programs and services.

The capability building exercise for the PESO Managers is only part of the simultaneous training activities done by the agency in the province.

The series will be continued in the Province of Surigao del Sur on October 20, followed by Agusan del Norte on October 25, then Agusan del Sur on the 27th, Siargao Island is slated in November 8 while Surigao del Norte will be on November 10. (JPIMillones/ OWWA Caraga)


Director Samuel Madrid Addressing PESO Officers’ Concerns

POEA Regional Coordinator Ritchel M. Butao discussing POEA Updates

POEA Regional Coordinator Ritchel M. Butao discussing POEA Updates

PESO managers all smiles during the community dance

PESO managers pose with OWWA Staff


The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office (OWWA RWO) VI, in reiterating its role as a reliable partner of the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC), published its accomplishments for the month of September in a press briefing organized by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Region VI for the recently implemented Department Orders 182 and 178.


The activity, attended by several media personnel from the local trimedia outfits, took place at Tatoy’s Manokan in Villa Iloilo City last September 29, 2017 and also involved several partner agencies like the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency, the National Conciliation and Mediation Board, the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board, the Professional Regulation Commission, the Technical Skills Development Authority, and the Employees’ Compensation Commission


OWWA-RWO VI Regional Director (RD) Wilfreda Misterio was on-hand at the panel to brief the attendees and answer their questions in the said event’s open forum.


Among some of the accomplishments RD Misterio touted were the awarding of the Region 6 Model OFW Family of the Year Awards (MOFYA) winners—the Morales family for the Landbased Category and the Bedia family for the Seabased Category—who are slated to represent the region at the national awarding ceremony in November; its ongoing involvement with the Atikha Overseas Workers and Communities Initiative, Inc.’s Family Income Management Training seminar series; its partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry for the Business Plan preparation workshop; and the Seafarers’ Day 2017, which was also being held around the same time of the meeting.


The said event also served as DOLE’s capacity-building activity for its partner organizations.


(Top photo) RD Misterio answers a question from a reporter; (Bottom photo) The rest of the RCC panel 


To honor the contributions of its sea-based Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) members, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office (OWWA RWO) VI recently conducted its annual Seafarers’ Day activity with a free orientation seminar.

About forty-six (46) attendees composed of vacationing seafarers, members of the Seafarers’ Wives of Association of Visayas Inc. (SWAVI) – Iloilo Chapter, and representatives from several manning agencies attended the half-day forum at OWWA’s Iloilo City office last September 29, 2017.


Ms. Wilfreda L. Misterio, OWWA Region 6 Director, asks the members of SWAVI to stand up and be recognized .


Aside from OWWA, other government agencies that participated in the said activity were the Department of Labor and Employment, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), PhilHealth, the Social Security System (SSS), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). The said agencies shared their programs and updates with regards to their OFW clients.

Ms. Wilfreda L. Misterio, the Region 6 Director of OWWA, emphasized why regular activities held for seafarers and OFWs, in general, are important.

“Connection to the family is the one thing that is sacrificed when a seafarer goes abroad to work,” Director Misterio said. “The very least could do as an agency is to reach out to our clients and show them that we value their contributions.”

The event was held in observance of the World Maritime Day, a day created by the United Nations (UN) via the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to “highlight the significant contribution of the IMO and its Member States to global efforts to improve the safety, security and efficiency of shipping and to protect the marine environment.”  


OWWA Region 6 staff Ms. Rizza Joy M. Moldes, Overseas Workers Welfare Officer II (seated, extreme left), and Ms. Jean B. Jover, Family Welfare Officer (standing, extreme left), poses with the participants at the end of the seminar.


This year’s theme was “Connecting Ships, Ports, and People.”


In response to the request of the OFWs and beneficiaries for capability enhancement through livelihood skills training, OWWA under its reintegration program, in partnership with the Provincial Government of Dinagat Island and other national line agencies, carried out a simultaneous Party Balloon Design, Floral Arrangement and Ice Cream Making to Dinagat, San Jose and  Cagdianao OFWs and Dependents.

Fifty six participants from the three municipalities of Dinagat Island attended the first day of the training which tackled Balloon and Floral Arrangement on September 29, 2017 while thirty participants joined Ice Cream Making on the second day, on September 30, 2017 both at Don Ruben Training Hall, San Jose, Province of Dinagat Islands.

Participants were introduced to the different equipment necessary for the conduct of each activity. While the trainer executed each design for the balloon design and floral arrangement, the participants also followed along making their learning more in depth. Among their outputs were pillar, ones used in the entrance of events; center piece and figures like butterfly, spider and flower. The OFWs and their dependents were delighted that they were allowed to bring home their outputs.

On the next day, a local of Dinagat introduced ice cream making. Participants were given time to try the actual mixing of the ingredients and the whole process. They were able to produce three tubes of ice cream for the whole day which they all shared together.

Ms. Emma Y. Mausisa, PESO Manager Province of Dinagat Islands, expressed her gratitude to the agency for providing the training. “I am very thankful to OWWA for bringing the techno-demo training to the province. Hopefully, our constituents will be able to venture into business and livelihood and eventually, there will be no need for them to go abroad” Mausisa said.

Meanwhile, as part of their capability empowerment, DTI Negosyo Center Coordinator Saira Shade M. Gallogo, discussed consumer rights to the participants and introduced them the possible ways they should be well aware of in buying products and services.

In return, OWWA Regional Director Samuel S. Madrid challenged the participants to focus and learn from the activity. This is a way of the agency to help them eventually become productive on their own. “The activity is done in line w/ the DOLE’s thrust – trabaho, negosyo, kabuhayan”, the director bared. “We will also bring new technology relevant and appropriate to the natural resource of Dinagat, like Apiculture/ Bee farming”, he added

The activity is only part of the series of activities done by the agency in the province including PESO Conference, Information Technology Training, Enhanced Entrepreneurial Development Training, and Financial Literacy. (JPIMillones/ OWWA Caraga)



Regional Director Samuel S. Madrid delivering his message to the participants

Display of the Participants Balloon and Floral Arrangement

DTI Negosyo Center Coordinator Saira Shade M. Gallogo discussing Consumer Rights

The participants with OWWA Staff and PESO Personnel

National Capital Region
Scholars and OFC-Members Attend Financial Literacy Training

17 scholars and 26 members of the OFW Family Circle (OFC) in the National Capital Region (NCR) attended the Financial Literacy Training at the OWWA Multipurpose Hall on 19 August 2017.


This training will encourage you to save and invest for your future needs. We hope that you would learn how to manage your finances and invest wisely.” Reintegration Unit Head Zandro Almendrala said in his opening remarks.


According to Resource Speaker Engr. Marvin James Revilla, a Registered Financial Consultant, the formula for success in life is the art of being, doing, and having – you must know, who you must be and what you must do so that you can attain your goals. He emphasized the 3 steps in financial planning which is to save, invest, and create a goal. According to Engr. Revilla, there are 3 pillars in financial planning – Earning, Managing, and Growing. “You have to earn money, manage it wisely in order for it to grow,” he said.


Engr. Revilla also shared some tips on how to save emergency funds. According to him, the savings should be equivalent to 3 months for an employed individual and 6 months for a business owner’s monthly expenses. He also encouraged the participants to invest in their health insurance as this would help them shoulder their medical expenses in case of emergencies.

Candy Mariel Juego, Batch 12 EDSP scholar, shared her thoughts on the training.

Candy Mariel Juego, an EDSP scholar, said that the training helped her to realize the importance of investing and saving money. “I learned that the investment for health and protection should come first in order for the speculative investment to not go to waste. Even at a young age we should learn how to spend money wisely and try to invest in the stock market,” she said.

From L to R: 44 RWO – NCR Scholars and OFC members attend the Financial Literacy Training and Engineer Marvin James Revilla conducting the Financial Literacy Training.


The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration XII conducted a 2-day Values Formation Training to OFW Family Circles (OFCs) of the Municipality of Alabel in Sarangani Province  last August 17-18, 2017.


A total of thirty nine (39) OFWs and dependents attended the two-day training. Officer-in-Charge Marlyn E. Jamero believes that such undertakings must always be given to them in order sustain their organization and would increase their desire to become a reliable and sensible part of a group.


This 2-day training aims to engage OFC Members in meaningful and active explorations of one-self and strengthen interpersonal relationship among group members. It also sought to strengthen teamwork and confront issues facing the group in order to work together for effective and efficient attainment of organizational goals and objectives.

OFC participants portray the life of OFWs as part of the Role Play activity.

"Maraming salamat po sa OWWA sa pagbigay sa amin ng ganitong training. Napakarami po naming natutunan na pwede naming magamit upang mas mapatibay at mas mapaganda pa ang aming samahan.", said Ms. Shirly Taripe, President of Kawas OFW Family Association, as she expressed her gratitude to the agency. 


Over the years, OWWA has been organizing OFW Family Circles (OFCs) consisting of returning OFWs and OFW dependents.  This formation activity provides an opportunity for OFWs and their dependents to engage in various social interventions that would enhance their capabilities and enrich their present social and economic status.

OIC PSD Chief Christelyn R. Caceres interviews one of the participants after the Pass the Message activity.
Ladol OFC President Aurelia Catarman proudly presents their Action Plan for the Year 2017
FWO Charles Kevin L. Bataga (in blue) together with the OFC members of Kawas OFW Family Association and Ladol OFW Family Association.


Former OWWA scholar now establishes career as OFW

Mr. Olivier Togonon’s father was a seafarer for twenty-eight years. As luck would have it, he would also become an OFW himself.


His journey started through one of Overseas Workers Welfare Administration’s (OWWA’s) academic scholarship programs.


“I was a scholar of OWWA under the Congressional Migrant Workers Scholarship Program (CMWSP) from 2004 until graduation,” Mr. Togonon said.


The CMWSP is a scholarship program extended to migrant workers and/or their immediate descendants taking up four- or five-year course in the priority fields of Science and Technology with educational assistance of P60,000.00 per academic year.


Mr. Togonon took up Bachelor of Science in Electronics and Communications Engineering at Central Philippine University after passing the qualifying examination administered by the Department of Science and Technology.


Upon graduating, he worked in different companies in Manila before deciding to apply in Malaysia.

Top student: Mrs. Elva Togonon, Olivier’s mother, accompanies him at every commemoration ceremony.

“I always wanted to work abroad to seek experience and a different culture and environment,” he said. “And due to the needs of having a better income as well as professional growth, I pursued working abroad seriously.”


He eventually landed a job as a patent paralegal in a law firm specializing in intellectual property. The work required practitioners who are well-versed in “life sciences” like engineering or chemistry, so his experience proved a boon for the company.


Contrary to what he expected, he also adjusted quickly to being in a new country.


“Adjustments were just in the matter of getting used to the new culture,” Mr. Togonon said. “Being away with my family has been quite easy with the help of technology; different ways of communication are available as long as you can connect to the internet.”


When asked what else he would like to achieve, he said, “I want my family to have a comfortable life, especially my parents.”


He also added, “In the near-future, we plan to start a business.”


Mr. Togonon is also thankful for the opportunity he received from OWWA.


“I would like to express my gratitude to my OWWA family. We, scholars, are grateful for being given chances to travel, learn and meet different people in all the conventions and also for making us part of the activities,” he said. “I hope OWWA can reach and help more OFW families and make their dreams more achievable through their programs.”

From L-R: Ms. Conie Binarao, Officer-In-Charge (OIC) of the Programs and Services Division; Candy Maristela, a former OFW; Ms. Sara Togonon (no relation), Overseas Workers Welfare Officer III; Mr. Togonon; and Mr. James Mendiola, OIC.


About 25 currently enrolled students, whose parents are Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), were officially accepted as new batch of scholars under the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration’s OFW Dependents Scholarship Program (OFWDSP) and Education for development Scholarship Program (EDSP). The ceremony was held on 16 August 2017 at RWO IV-A Training Room where they were given orientation on the programs’ guidelines and copies of individual Scholarship Agreement for their signature.


The orientation program was facilitated by Ms. Rachel Molino of ETU. RWO IV-A ETU-Head, Mr. Octaviano congratulated all those who are present and  stressed before the scholars and respective parents/guardians the importance of abiding with the Scholarship Agreement to ensure unhampered enjoyment of  scholarship grant.


“Scholars and parents/legal guardians should fully understand the scholarship programs and guidelines because both have the contractual obligations to fulfill” he added.


Under the ODSP, 21 new scholars (currently enrolled in college) for school year 2017 to 2018 are entitled to financial assistance grant amounting to PhP 20, 000.00 per school year. While the EDSP, 4 new scholars (currently enrolled in college) are entitled to financial assistance grant amounting to PhP 60, 000.00 per school year. The qualified students are entitled to continue their baccalaureate degree in any college or university.


RWO IV-A is still receiving applicants for currently enrolled (first semester SY 2017-2018) qualified dependents of OWWA member-OFWs until we reach the maximum slots of 30 for EDSP and 60 for ODSP.


As of 2017, the OWWA RWO IV-A has 154 maintained scholars under the ODSP and 50 under the EDSP.

OWWA-RWO VI conducts 2-week computer training workshop in Pototan

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office (OWWA RWO) VI recently conducted a two-week Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills training workshop in Pototan, Iloilo this August.


Fifteen (15) members of the St. Joseph Movement of Migrants & their Families went to the activity at the Pototan Campus of the West Visayas State University (WVSU) during the dates of August 12th to 13th and 19th to 20th.


Mr. Ricky Cordova, Information Technology Instructor, served as the workshop’s facilitator.


Basic computer fundamentals and skills like desktop hardware familiarization, typing, and the use of common Microsoft Office programs and the Internet were taught to the participants during the event.


OWWA RWO VI’s ICT skills training is part of the Tulay-Aral program, a customizable module provided free for OFWs and their beneficiaries since 2008.


A total forty-nine (49) overseas Filipino workers and dependents attended the Demo Farm Immersion and Visitation spearheaded by Overseas Workers Welfare Administration XII last August 16, 2017 held at VMotril’s Farm, Brgy. Crossing Rubber, Tupi, South Cotabato.


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.


This 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.

OFW Victoria E. Motril shares the secret of her Organiz Farm

OFW Victoria E. Motril, former MOFYA Entrepreneurship Awardee and one of the Resource Speakers, emphasized the need to assess the target market in putting-up a business.


As one of the region’s most renowned entrepreneurs, OFW Motril offers lectures and seminars in order to help others especially her co-OFWs. "Kailangang alam mo ang papasukin mo at kung papaano ito pakikibagayan. Normal lang ang maging mahirap sa simula, ang mahalaga positibo at may dedikasyon ka sa ginagawa mo.", she advised them.


Officer-in-Charge Marlyn E. Jamero said that the activity is just one of the agency’s mechanisms in providing support to the OFWs business endeavors. She further said that seminars and trainings in partnership with various government agencies are also given to them to ensure continuous learning.


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


The program aims to help OFWs and their families in the establishment of viable business enterprise that will provide them with steady income stream and create employment opportunities in their community.

Resource Speaker Raymil O. Castillo, MBA is a former Bank Manager in the shares his inputs on how to start a Transport Business.
OIC Marlyn E. Jamero (Center in blue) and FWO Celine D. Travilla together with the OFW applicants of OFW-EDLP