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The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration conducted "Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay!" (BPBH) Orientation and Entrepreneurial Development Training last August 10, 2017 at Mang Gorio Bahay Kainan, Koronadal City.


The activity was attended and participated by more than ninety (90) distressed and displaced overseas Filipino workers.


In order to ensure the sustainability of their chosen enterprises, OWWA provided entrepreneurial development trainings in Financial Literacy, Basic Accounting and Business Plan Making to guarantee that applicants were equipped with proper knowledge as they engage in business.


The program beneficiaries may utilize their acquired skills, either for self-employment or for managing livelihood projects. Moreover, they can also choose among the wide variety of trades like Foods and Drinks, Online Business, Agriculture and Fisheries, Electronics, etc.

OIC-Marlyn E. Jamero giving her message to all BPBH Trainees

Officer-in-Charge Marlyn E. Jamero in her welcome message acknowledged the noble sacrifices of OFWs in foreign shores. She encouraged them to utilize wisely the cash livelihood assistance from OWWA in starting a new life in the country.


"Marami pong salamat sa OWWA. Malaking tulong bilang panimula ang BPBH. Gagawin ko ang aking makakaya upang mapalago ang aking napiling kabuhayan.", OFW Megelende F. Ison said.


As of this writing, the office already released more than Two Hundred Fifty (250+) livelihood cash assistance and starter kits to program applicants from January to July of the year 2017. Furthermore, series of monitoring activities to the program beneficiaries are conducted to ensure continuous development of their chosen enterprises.


The Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay! is a package of livelihood assistance consisting of cash assistance amounting to Twenty Thousand Pesos (P 20,000), Entrepreneurship Development Training and other services intended to provide immediate relief to returning distressed or displaced member-OFWs.



The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration XII participated in the 2017 DOLE – RCC Sports Festival kick-off ceremony last August 11, 2017 held at DOLE XII compound, Koronadal City.


OWWA along with its partner agencies namely Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA), National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), Employees' Compensation Commission (ECC), National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO), National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) and Regional Tripartite and Wages Productivity Board (RTWPB) composed the Team Attached Agencies or "Team AA".


The four competing teams: DOLE Team A – Labor Team headed by Dir. Sisinio B. Cano, DOLE Team B – Employment Team headed by ARD Yahya A. Centi, Team TESDA headed by Engr. Edgar A. Sales and Team Attached Agencies, will compete for various sports like Volleyball, Darts, Badminton and Basketball.

OWWA Employees as proud members of Team AA during the Grand Entrance

DOLE Regional Director Sisinio B. Cano in his message reinvigorated everyone to play well, give their best and never forget to enjoy every moment. He also expressed his gratitude to all agencies under the umbrella of DOLE for their active participation.


The activity also highlighted the ceremonial lighting of the Friendship Torch and the recitation of the Oath of Sportsmanship. Each team is very eager to be declared as "Champions" for this year’s sports festival.


Meanwhile, Officer-in-Charge Marlyn E. Jamero encouraged all participating OWWA employees to embody the spirit of sportsmanship and be able to showcase their God-given skills. "Isa itong pagkakataon upang maipakita na ang mga taga-OWWA ay may angking-galing din sa isports at sa marami pang mga bagay.", she added.

OIC – Chief, PSD Christelyn R. Caceres actively danced to the rhythm of Zumba music

The activity is in line with the 84th Founding Anniversary of the Department of Labor and Employment. It is an annual activity spearheaded by the agency in partnership with its attached agencies and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). The closing and awarding ceremony will be on December 08, 2017.

OIC Marlyn E. Jamero (4th from right) together with the employees of OWWA XII before the program opened.

First OFW Business Loan availee of Antique on rebuilding life after Typhoon Yolanda

Mrs. Reina Manzan, a former Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) from Israel and the first availee of the 2-Billion OFW Reintegration Program or 2B ORP (now known as the OFW-Enterprise and Development Loan Program) of the Province of Antique, realized how lucky she and her family is to have a livelihood after suffering from what was one of the worst disasters to hit the province back in 2013.


Manzan, who originally hailed from Lemery, Iloilo, worked as a domestic helper in Israel from 2007 until 2011, the year where her employer passed away.  


Mrs. Manzan, along with her husband Ireneo and their two children, relocated to Hamtic, Antique before Typhoon ‘Yolanda’ (international name: Haiyan) hit Western Visayas on November 2013; like many of the homes and livelihoods in the province, theirs was one of those devastated.


Fortunately, the Manzan family started to get their lives back on track with the help of Reina’s savings, a portion of which she invested in a motorcycle parts shop in their home, during her four-year stint as an OFW.


Though they enjoyed a moderately successful business because of the many Antiqueños who relied on motorcycles and tricycles for their livelihoods, they applied for the 2B ORP from the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) so they could expand their shop by getting more stocks and adding a sari-sari store.


They also managed to buy a banca which they used to catch fish and seafood that they sold to nearby cities and towns.

Mrs. Reina Manzan
With her husband Ireneo, a former farmer.

Through it all, she remains proud of one thing: “I never missed payment. I always pay back my loan on time.”


Currently, she is organizing an OFW Family Circle (OFC) group in Hamtic to, as she puts it, “help fellow OFWs like her be more proactive in investing and taking care of their money”. 


The Uswag Magpet OFW Association in partnership with the Public OFW Desk Office – LGU Magpet initiated a Community Outreach Program dubbed as "Tulong mo, Kinabukasan ko" last August 1, 2017 in Kisandal Elementary School at Brgy. Kisandal, Magpet, North Cotabato.


A total of One Hundred Fifty Eight (158) students were able to receive school supplies and relief goods from the collective efforts and generosity of OFC members and OFWs in Magpet.


The program included awarding of school supplies to Fifteen (15) scholars of the association, a variety show prepared by the beneficiaries and Parlor Games.


OFC President Maricar A. Angeles said that the activity is one of their organizational goals as an empowered OFW group that serves the poor and the least favored.  In her message, she emphasized the need of helping others especially the young ones. "Ang OFWs ng Magpet ay hinding-hindi po magsasawa sa pagtulong sa inyong lahat", she assured them.


Officer-in-Charge Kristine Marie H. Sison commended the Uswag Magpet OFW Association for initiating such worthwhile activities. She also extended her gratitude to the local government unit for its continued support to the programs and services of the agency especially to its Family Support and Development Program.


As of this writing, the association is planning to conduct another Community Outreach Program at Amabel Elementary School next month.  


The Uswag Magpet OFW Association was organized under the Community Organizing Program of Overseas Workers Welfare Administration XII last year. The association already conducted various activities like Feeding Programs within the locality and has been an active partner of the LGU since then.

OFC President Maricar A. Angeles awarded school supplies to their scholars.
The UMOA Officers  (in lavender) together with Ms. Jocelyn P. Tardo, PODO-designate (inr red), Teachers of Kisandal Elementary School with their scholars (children in 1st row). 
Program beneficiaries rendered an intermission number during the variety show
OFC Members facilitated the distribution of meals and relief goods to the students


We often hear that old Filipino proverb "Kung may tiyaga, may nilaga". However, for OFW Gina Balagot Nesperos, we must not only be patient and hard working in many things in order to have "nilaga". Life has many delicious Filipino foods to offer, it has afritada, menudo, sinigang, adobo, and who wouldn’t crave for lechon?


The following story is neither about a successful Filipino Chef nor an elaboration of a wide Filipino selection of palatable foods and condiments. This is a success story of an OFW-recipient of OWWA’s 2B OFW Reintegration Program who tasted the various flavors of life. This is how her story begun.


OFW Ma. Gina Balagot Nesperos was blessed with dedicated and hardworking parents. Her childhood life in Baranggay New Pangasinan, Isulan, Sultan Kudarat had been very memorable because unlike any other children in their community they never experienced hunger and poverty. Her parents were able to raise all six of them in a life abundantly blessed with love, compassion and respect for one another.


After she graduated in college, she found the love of her life in her childhood best friend, Samuel Nesperos.  A year after they got married, they decided to go to Metropolitan Manila hoping to find the fortune they dreamt for their starting family. Her husband worked as a Security Guard in small company while OFW Gina decided to work as a Supervisor in a shopping center rather than teaching in school.


Unfortunately, their combined income was not enough to sustain the needs of their growing family. OFW Gina being the braver and more adventurous decided to work as a caregiver in Taiwan for four years. Similar to most overseas Filipino workers all over the world, Gina is blessed to have a very nice employer.


For four (4) long years since 1994, she never experienced maltreatment and other unfortunate events. However, her greatest struggle was her desire to be with her family again. She seldom contacts her husband and two children that time due to communication constraints in their community in Isulan. She then directed her attention in joining various Filipino communities in Taiwan that aim to give emotional support to OFWs.


In 1998, after they were able to raise the amount they dreamt to start their own business, OFW Gina decided to go back to the Philippines and be with her family.


They started their Buy & Sell of Agricultural Products with only P 20,000.00 capital. At first, it was very difficult because they only have a very minimal capital and it was so hard to get the trust of farmers in their community. But their dreams as a couple truly prevailed. The hard work, patience, and their dedication bore more than

OFW Gina and her husband were able to acquire properties because of their hard work and dedication.
When she was still an OFW, she was also an active member of various OFW cricles in Taiwan. (OFW in red jacket)

what they expected. Ten years after their opening, they were able to make their business grow, and acquire vehicles and various equipment for it.


Life, however, has its own mechanism of challenging us. In the year 2010, while their business continued to grow, Samuel after he got involved to vehicular accident suffered a mysterious disease that even doctors cannot diagnose. One by one, piece by piece, their investments went nowhere.


Gina at this point, asked for guidance from the Father Almighty. She considered this as her life’s greatest trial. Fortunately, her prayers were answered but all their investments were now just part of history.


In order to rise from the depths of these downfalls and bankruptcy, she sought assistance from Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and Land Bank of the Philippines in 2012 and applied to its 2B OFW Reintegration Program. A year after she applied, her application was approved. She used this as a capital to support their buy & sell business which, by then, was still recovering.


OFW Gina and Samuel took the lead and personally managed their business the second time around. They prayed heartily and worked hard, they used the money they loaned out from OWWA-LBP as their working capital and parcel of it to purchase another vehicle for delivery.


OWWA and Land Bank serve as answered prayer for them. Both agencies continue to support and guide them every step of the way. According to Samuel, without the support of these two agencies, all their efforts surely faded away.


As of today, their buy & sell business is one of Isulan’s most promising business. They were able to acquire almost seven vehicles, farm lands, a personal vehicle, a house, provide employment to at least five families and donate huge amount of money to churches and various charitable institutions.


They are also active members of OFW New Pangasinan Isulan Sector OFW Association, an award-winning OFC in Region XII. They also sponsor various community outreach programs and provide scholarships to poor but deserving students in their community.


In an interview, OFW Ma. Gina B. Nesperos, said that the secret to success is actually not a secret. For her, sharing what God has given you is the best way to thank Him for all the blessings that he gave. This is also her family’s best way to manifest their faith.


"Alagaan mo ang tiwala na ibibigay ng ibang tao sa iyo. Huwag mong sirain ito sapagkat isa ito sa mga bagay na maaaring magdulot sa iyo ng mas marami pang pagkakataon." Gina said. She also emphasized the importance of believing in the beauty of your dream for nothing is impossible if we work for it.


Indeed, her story is a living proof that we must dream beyond our dreams. We dream more than enough not for our own sake but for all the people that count on us. It is okay to be contented with what we already have but it is far better to continue dreaming while we live.

OFW Gina considers her family as her inspiration in achieving all of her dreams in life. Her first born (in blue) is also an OFW working at Taiwan. Her second child is a businessman in their locality while her two boys (center and rightmost) are still in High School.
As a former OFW, she believes that it is important to help and assist OFW families. OFW Gina is an active officer of OFW New Pangasinan Isulan Sector; an OFC formed by OWWA XII in the year 2004.


National Capital Region
6, 748 Amnesty OFW-Beneficiaries Receive CARE Program

A total of 6, 748 OFW - beneficiaries who availed of the Amnesty Program offered by the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia received financial assistance of Php 5,000 cash from the Regional Welfare Office – National Capital Region of the OWWA.


The CARE program is a one-time cash relief assistance given to OWWA Members, active or non-active, who availed of the Amnesty Program from 29 March 2017 to 23 July 2017.


The grant of the CARE program to the amnesty availees must be within ninety (90) days after arrival in the Philippines.


The program aims to aid the OFW-Amnesty availees pay their incidental expenses upon return to their families considering the difficulty they experienced of having no regular income prior to the Amnesty Program.

The beneficiaries of the OWWA Care program from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


OWWA launches 2017 Model OFW Family Search for Caraga

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Regional Welfare Office Caraga announces the launching of the search for Model OFW Family of the Year Award (MOFYA) in Caraga region.


The annual MOFYA search is designed to give due recognition to outstanding achievements of the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their families in promoting best practices in managing family challenges albeit adverse effects of overseas migration on family solidarity and cohesiveness.


To be eligible for nomination, the Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) must be the head of the family, land-based or sea-based, formerly or presently working abroad with a contract of employment or work permit, and must have a proof of OWWA membership.


MOFYA nominees must conform to the following criteria: (a) 50 percent for wholesome OFW family; (b) 20 percent for civic/community involvement of OFW and family members; (c) 20 percent for success in children’s or family member’s education; and (d) 10 percent for success in managing family finances.


The OFW, either single or married should have the following criteria:

  • the OFW should have at least five (4) years of work experience;

  • the OFW family should be known as an exemplary presence in the community; and

  • the OFW family should be financially stable

  • that he/she has returned to the country for good for no longer than ten (10) years at the time of nomination

Previous regional MOFYA nominees can be nominated for the second time only after two (2) years; must not be related up to the third degree of consanguinity and affinity to officials and employees of OWWA, DOLE and its attached agencies, and social partners of MOFYA; and must NOT be a holder of an elective/appointive position in national/local office at the time of nomination.


Two families; one coming sea-based and another from the land-based category will be chosen as MOFYA regional winners in September who will represent the region to the national search in November 2017.


Regional Director Samuel Madrid of OWWA Caraga is encouraging the following sectors: Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), Peoples’ Organizations (POs), Religious Groups, Community based Socio-Civic Organizations and Local Government Units (LGUs) and OFW Family Circles (OFCs) to send their MOFYA nominees.


For more information about the program, kindly visit the OWWA Caraga office at Nimfa Tiu Bldg. II, J.P. Rosales Avenue, Butuan City or contact us at (085) 342-6178/2255989. 


Most students slip into depression, give up on education or their dreams, or take some extreme step after facing failure, life’s challenges, or privation of any kind. But not to a 21 year old CMWSP scholar, who has set an example with her persistence and diligence to realize her dreams. This is the message young Melody Salazar Garin, a Bachelor of Science in Biology graduate, would like to impart to her fellow scholars.


Ms. Garin is a proud scholar of OWWA RWO IV-A. She belongs to Batch 6th under the Congressional Migrant Workers Scholarship Program (CMWSP). Melody, as she was fondly called, never relented in achieving her goal of finishing her studies despite hectic school activities and academic demand of being a scholar.


Her persistence and patience not only paid off but she emerged on top, victorious of taking the laurel of a cum laude as her reward for being a studious, determined, responsible student and a loving daughter.


Melody gave the following parting words as inspirational message to all whom she loves and for those who supported her during her times of needs:


“It’s been a long journey since the orientation about the scholarship and I hope that OWWA is proud of their scholars like me. Recently, we had our graduation last July 5, 2017 and I was awarded with 3 medals: Cum Laude, Excellence in Biology Research, and Excellence in Community Service. I could not have done it without the continuous support I received through the scholarship especially when it comes to financial aspect. The tuition fee greatly helped in minimizing the school fees I have to pay for each semester. Though I graduated with a course that is not my first choice, I believe that it was indeed God’s best option for me. I believe He planned everything so that I can be someone productive and driven despite the difficulties I faced.” Melody said.


To other OWWA scholars, take the example and words of Melody and live by it and you will soon - like her - reap the fruits of your hard work.



OWWA gives dreams to teachers thru Computer Training Program

Ms. Ronalyn G. Cabañero is an educator who used to teach children with special needs before resigning last summer to take care of her three-year old son who was diagnosed with autism.


The irony was not lost on her: “I’ve taught the children of other parents for six years. So, what should prevent me from taking care of my own?”


Ms. Cabañero, however, is aiming to gain employment in a public school in Northern Iloilo while her husband, a seafarer who last boarded three years ago take care of their son, waits to be deployed.


She heard from a relative who works as a domestic helper in Hong Kong that the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is offering free Information and Communication Technology (ICT) training seminars for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their beneficiaries.


After completing her class schedule at the Regional Welfare Office 6, Ms. Cabañero obtained her Certificate of Completion (COC) this June, and is happy in the hope that she will finally be getting the target ranking for teaching that she longed for.


She is just one of the 690 dependents out of the 774 people who completed OWWA’s ICT training from January to June of 2017.


The original purpose of the ICT program is to teach OFWs to connect to their loved ones and vice-versa via the internet.


In recent years however, the OWWA ICT COCs have proven to be useful to OFWs and their beneficiaries, most of them teachers, who are looking for employment.


The said program covers computer fundamentals like typing lessons, basic computer and productivity program simulations in the forms of using Microsoft Office software, and introduction to the internet.


Mr James B. Mendiola, Officer-In-Charge of OWWA RWO 6, recognizes the importance of the program as not just for career advancement, but for personal growth, as well.


“Filipinos are increasingly becoming reliant on digital tools,” Mr. Mendiola said. “And even though some may find it difficult to understand these at first, it is not too late for anyone to adjust to the changes. It is never too late to learn something new.”


Ms. Arjelyn Marie Cambar, a Board passer from 2016 who works as a tutor at a private center, was also in the same training batch as Ms. Cabañero. She appreciated that the lessons imparted to them were taught in a hands-on approach.


“I had an existing knowledge about computers, but at least I learned much more about it because of the training,” she said. “Even in public schools, we can’t deny the fact that this kind of training is important for us teachers because technology, particularly multimedia, is being incorporated in the curricula.”


Mr. Ricky P. Cordova, Information Technology Instructor I, believes that the ICT training offers a deeper purpose for those who availed of it.


“The program gives hope and an opportunity for underprivileged people who cannot afford to go to school for a formal computer training,” he said.


For further inquiries and class schedules, OFWs and their beneficiaries can visit the OWWA RWO 6 Computer Laboratory at the 3rd floor of Robinsons Place, Iloilo City, or they can call (033) 3374484 or 5091075.

Mr. Ricky Cordova, Information Technology Instructor I (top picture, leftmost on back row) and Mr. Marvin Reid Abellon, Information Technology Instructor II, pose with their respective classes.
Ms. Cabañero (left) and Ms. Cambar after receiving their COCs.


Celebrating Excellence OWWA-ARMM ODSP Scholar graduates Cum Laude A

COTABATO CITY – Normala Matula Bulingkig, a beneficiary of the OFW Dependents Scholarship Program (ODSP) of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration - Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (OWWA-ARMM), graduated Cum Laude from the Mindanao State University (MSU) – Maguindanao. She was awarded during the Graduation Ceremony last May 25, 2017 at MSU-Maguindanao, Dalican, D.O.S., Maguindanao.


Normala is the younger sister of OFW Gina U. Bulingkig, a Household Service Worker (HSW) from Kuwait. She earned a degree in Bachelor of Secondary Education – Major in English.


She is the 5th among the seven children of Badal and Palumpokan Bulingkig.


Normala expressed her sincere and heartfelt gratitude to OWWA for giving her the opportunity to be one of the OWWA Scholars.


“I am sincerely honored, delighted, and grateful to have been selected as one of the recipients of the OFWDSP. Thank you very much for your generosity. Through this, I was able to fulfill not only my dream but also my parent’s dream. My degree, BSED-Major in English, wouldn’t be possible without your financial assistance. You have lightened the burden which made me focus more on my studies,” Normala said.


“Words are not enough to express how thankful I am. In behalf of the Bulingkig family and from the bottom of our hearts, thank you very much for your generosity and support. My latin award, Cum Laude, is dedicated to you and the whole staff of OWWA. You will always be part of my life and my success. May the Almighty Allah bless you”, she added.


The OFW Dependents Scholarship Program (OFWDSP) is granted to an eligible dependent of an active OFW with a basic monthly salary of not more than $600. The scholar receives a financial assistance of P 10,000.00 per semester.