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National Capital Region
TIME IS GOLD: EDSP SCHOLAR BECOMES A LICENSED MECHANICAL ENGINEER

Engineer Carlos Miguel Cacatian, scholar of Batch 9 of the Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP), recently passed the 2017 Mechanical Engineering Board Examinations visited the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office – National Capital Region (OWWA RWO-NCR).

 

After more than 5 years, Engr. Carlos Miguel Cacatian has finally achieved his dream of becoming a Licensed Mechinal Engineer. He graduated from Mapua Institute of Technology on 20 February 2017 and immediately passed the Mechanical Board Examinations on 22 March 2017. Engr. Cacatian took his oath as a Licensed Mechanical Engineer at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) on 1 May 2017.

 

Like most of the students, Engineer Cacatian also had his fair share of ups and downs during his college life. “I failed twice under the same professor. What hurts most is that I was already in my 4th year in college when I first failed,” he said. But instead of giving up, he was motivated to study harder to complete his education.

 

College life

 

Engr. Cacatian is the son of an OFW who works at the Off Shore Gas Company in New Orleans, United States of America. When asked on why he took up Mechanical Engineering, he said that his father greatly influenced him and he believes engineering is in demand with higher opportunity for employment. In his college days, he was active in extracurricular activities and was once a Treasurer of his school organization. In his first year, he joined a Goldberg making competition along with his batch mates. Engr. Cacatian passed his first 3 years in college with flying colors as he was part of the top 10 in his batch in the Engineering course. However, when he reached 4th year college, he failed two subjects under the same professor. When asked why he failed those subjects, Engr. Cacatian explained, “I failed my first subject because of the style of teaching of my strict professor. I also had a hard time because of the schedule of that subject; that subject is scheduled every Saturday morning but I had also classes every Friday night. As for the second subject, the passing grade for the final exam was 80 but I only got a grade of 79 that is why I failed the subject.”

 

Lessons Learned

 

Engr. Cacatian leaned on his family’s support when he failed his subjects. According to him, his family was a bit disappointed since he only had a year and a half to finish college without any failing mark but they were still there to encourage him to do better, “My family told me to study harder and improve my grades. They told me that I should pass that subject in the next term.” He learned a valuable lesson during the tough times that he encountered: Time Management. He stressed the importance of using one’s time wisely, “Time management is very important because it helps you to be productive. It is hard to waste one’s time.”  He also pointed out the importance of putting a lot of effort into studying by saying, “When I retook those failed subjects, I made sure to put all my effort into it to make sure that I will not fail again. I was afraid to fail again because I value my scholarship.”

 

EDSP Scholarship

 

Engr. Cacatian applied for the scholarship because he did not want to burden his family and he wanted to help his parents in paying his tuition. He feels thankful for the opportunity given to him and for helping him to become a better student, “I would like to thank OWWA for giving me the opportunity to become a scholar, it helped us a lot financially. I also feel grateful because I improved my study habits and became more responsible by managing my time wisely because I had to maintain my scholarship status.” He also gave an advice to the remaining scholars by saying, “Just focus and prioritize your studies. Also, you should not waste your time because you cannot bring it back anymore.”

Engineer Carlos Miguel Cacatian together with Education and Training Unit Head Vivian Velez

 

Engineer Carlos Miguel Cacatian together with his family.

 

Engineer Carlos Miguel Cacatian during his oath taking on 1 May 2017.

 
Carlos Miguel Cacatian during his graduation at Mapua Institute of Technology on 20 February 2017
 

National Capital Region
SOARING TO HIGHER SKIES: EDSP SCHOLAR GRADUATES AS MAGNA CUM LAUDE

Gene Luche Battung, scholar of Batch 11 of the Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP), recently graduated Magna Cum Laude from Air Link Aviation International College on 11 April 2017 visited the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office – National Capital Region (OWWA RWO-NCR).

 

Life in the Middle East

 

Gene left the Philippines when he was in Grade 5 to live in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) because his father will work as a Service Manager in Saudi Oger. His mother also stayed in KSA to take care of them. After graduating from Palm Crest International High School, Gene returned to the Philippines to pursue his college education. He felt lonely and incomplete because his parents were left behind in Riyadh. He said that, “Even my brother was with me in the Philippines, I felt at a loss because anything I need, my parents will always be there to provide. At the same time, I had to cope with the new life style and I got culture shock at first.”  He added that distance from his family for the first time did not hinder him from studying hard and graduating with Latin Honor. Being on his own during his college years was his source of motivation to make his parents proud.

 

College Life

 

When asked why he took the course in Aircraft Maintenance, Gene immediately answered that it was his dream since he was a child. He recalled that, “since I was a kid, every time I will be asked what I wanted to be when I grow up? My response will be “I want to become a Pilot”. I chose my course since it is related to the course that I originally wanted to take, which is flying.” Gene felt his college days were short-lived but he enjoyed it so much because he only completed his course in 3 years. He said that graduating from college at aged 18 is quite worrisome and if he is ready for the real world. The present struggle he is facing now is the fast paced world outside school.  After 3 years, Gene has succeeded in achieving a fraction of his dream to become a pilot with honor – Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Aircraft Maintenance Technology.

 

Struggles and Blessings

 

Even if he wanted to take a Flying course, Gene had to adjust due to financial constraints. “If given the opportunity I would take up a Flying course but due to financial constraints, I had to take up a different course. Definitely, I still do have a plan of studying again to become a Pilot.”

 

It was back in May 2016 when his parents returned to the Philippines because of the mandatory repatriation of the Philippine government. His father worked at Saudi Oger, one of the nine construction and maintenance companies which faced a financial crisis in Saudi Arabia. According to Gene’s father, Engineer Marcial Battung, he spent his own money to buy their plane tickets because they could no longer wait for the repatriation program of the government. Fortunately, Engr. Battung was recently hired as the Section Chief of the Fire Safety and Enforcement Education department of the Bureau of Fire Protection.

 

Future plans

 

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Gene gave himself a timeline as well as viable options to help him achieve his dream of becoming a Pilot. “After I finish my 6-month internship at the Omni Aviation Corporation, I will complete all my requirements and take the licensure examination. From then, I have 2 viable options: first, is to continue working to be able to finance my studies and second, is to find a scholarship at any flying school,” he said.

 

EDSP Scholarship

 

Prior to the qualifying examination, Gene was not aware of the existence of the scholarship program of OWWA. He only found out about the EDSP when his school chose him, along with other students, to take the qualifying exams. “I felt blessed when I received that opportunity. I felt more blessed when the results came out that I was one out of the 3 passers from our school,” he said.

 

He is also thankful for the support that he received from OWWA for the past 3 years. “For everyone in OWWA, thank you so much for the help. Please continue your generous work. You have been instrumental to improve our lives - to me and also to other students and OFWs out there. Please continue doing your great job and God Bless you all,” he said.         

 

Gene inspires other scholars by quoting a popular author - “They should continue aspiring for their dreams and when they encounter times of hardships, they should always remember to seek the seed of triumph in every adversity. They should not lose hope when times get hard and remember that they are doing this not only for themselves but also for their parents who worked hard and suffered many sacrifices while working overseas.” 

RWO-NCR Director Emma V. Sinclair and EDSP Scholar Gene Luche Battung holding Gene’s medal for graduating as Magna Cum Laude

 

From L to R: PSD Chief Ma. Teresa Capa, RWO-NCR Director Emma V. Sinclair, EDSP Scholar Gene Luche Battung, Dolores Battung, Gene’s mother, and Engineer Marcial Battung, Gene’s father

 

From L to R: RWO-NCR Director Emma V. Sinclair, ETU head Vivian Velez, EDSP scholar Gene Luche Battung, Dolores Battung, PSD Chief Ma. Teresa Capa and Engineer Marcial Battung.

 

Gene Luche Battung together with his parents and brother during his graduation day

 

 Gene Luche Battung, EDSP Batch 11 scholar, from Air Link Aviation International College graduated Magna Cum Laude on 11 April 2017

 

RWO VI
OWWA conducts Summer Youth Camp for Scholars

Attended by twenty-three (23) scholars from the Education for Development Scholarship Program, the OFW Dependent Scholarship Program, and the Education and Livelihood Assistance Program, the activity carried   the theme "I Am An OWWA Scholar. I Choose to be Healthy. I Choose to be Excel. I Choose to be Me: Guiding the Scholars in making right Choices.”

 

The summer youth camp provided participants an avenue to discuss issues affecting the youth of today like peer pressure, teenage sexuality, academic pressure, and their role in nation-building. 

Overseas Workers Welfare Officer II, and Mr. Remon Albeza, Family Welfare Officer, pose with the OWWA scholars during the distribution of certificates

 

RWO I
OWWA Region 1 personnel learn on basic earthquake preparedness

The officers and staff of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office I (OWWA RWOI) set on a basic lecture and orientation on earthquake preparedness on May 8, 2017 as part of its activities on emergency planning. 

 

Mr. Freddie C. Evangelista and Ms. Schezelle Kriska Janica O. Doctolero of the Office of Civil Defense Regional Office I (OCD R1) served as learning service providers for the basic orientation.

 

They discussed on the procedures in conducting an earthquake drill, along with other vital information in preparing for any unforeseen natural disasters.

 

The lecture revealed the Phivolcs report that of the top 10 provinces which are at risk to earthquakes, La Union and Pangasinan rank second and fourth, respectively.

 

The OCD officers also identified the earthquake exit in the OWWA RWOI office. They also commited to extend assistance in creating disaster management council of the OWWA RWOI.

           The officers and staff of the OWWA RWOI sat on a basic lecture and orientation on earthquake preparedness on May 8, 2017. 

 

RWO X
OWWA RWO-10 joins International AIDS Candlelight Memorial

OWWA Region-10 joins the International 34th AIDS Candlelight Memorial last May 14, 2017 at the Activity Center, Limketkai Center, Cagayan de Oro City. Hundreds of participants coming from different sectoral groups to include the academe, youth, health-advocate and some government agencies also attended the event. The program started with a Holy Mass afterwards the ceremonial lighting of candles in commemoration to those who died inflicted with AIDS as well as a show of support to those persons living with HIV, and concerned advocate groups who worked tirelessly for the education and awareness and provision of care and treatment.

 

One of the highlights of the program was the testimony of a person living with HIV. The testimony seeks to reduce the stigma as well as a sort of information-dissemination and awareness to the gravity of the problem. It also aims to encourage persons who have risky behaviors to have tested with HIV and avail of the treatment offered by the government health institutions and non-government organizations.

 

Since its inception in 2010, OWWA-10 has been part of this worthwhile endeavor. OWWA is one of the member age ncies of the Misamis Oriental – Cagayan de Oro AIDS Network, (MOCAN) a coalition of government and non-government organizations working for various HIV-AIDS related causes in Cagayan de Oro City and Northern Mindanao.

 
 

 

RWO I
OWWA opens college scholarship for 2nd to 5th year OFW dependents

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) now accepts application for the scholarship program for overseas Filipino workers’ dependents who are currently enrolled in college.

 

The Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP) has been expanded to include admission of OFW legal dependents are now in their second to fifth year in college.

 

The scholarship program provides P60,000 financial assistance to qualified OFW legal dependents, who should be a child of a married OFW-member; or sibling of a single or childless OFW-member. The OFW should also be an active OWWA member. If membership is expired, it should be within the six-month extension period.

 

The applicant should have a general weighted average not lower than B letter grade or 85 per cent equivalence in all subjects in the last school year attended in full load.

 

Only six scholarship slots per province are available. Hence, interested qualified applicants are advised to submit their application the soonest, as acceptance and admission is on a ‘first-come, first-served basis.’

 

Basic documentary requirements include accomplished application form; 2x2 identification picture; birth certificate authenticated by the Philippine Statistics Authority; duly-authenticated certificate of grades in the last school year; and proof of OWWA membership of the OFW-member.

 

For inquiries, the OWWA Regional Welfare Office I may be reached at 0908 863 4300 / 0908 863 4250 / 09727 620 7300, or email at owwalaunion@yahoo.com

 

RWO I
Region 1 OFW leaders uphold team spirit

Leaders of various overseas Filipino workers’ family circles (OFCs) in Region 1 have gathered for a two-day training which aimed to strengthen their ties as OFW groups, which are partners of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) in the grassroots.

 

Around 63 OFC leaders in Region 1 took part of the team-building activity on May 30-31, 2107 at the Kabaleyan Cove Resort, San Carlos City, Pangasinan. The activity centered on the theme, “promoting theme dynamics towards the attainment of organizational goals and objectives of the new OFC leaders in Region 1.”

 

Total of 20 OFC leaders have come from Pangasinan; 16 from La Union, 12 from Ilocos Sur, and 15 from Ilocos Norte.

 

Serving as learning service provider was Mr. Allen Jeffrey O. Saraza, a renowned leadership speaker and a psychology instructor at the De La Salle University. In his talks, Saraza imparted lessons on team dynamics, group communication, and strategic planning, which were processed through games, group activities and lectures.

 

The OFC leaders have also elected their new set of officers for the OFC Regional Council. Elected as president is Edna Valdez, while the rest of the officers are: Flordeliza Aceret, vice president; Eliza Acena, secretary; Evelyn Basconcillo, assistant secretary; Vicky Briones, treasurer; Dolores Cortes, assistant treasurer; Esmeraldo Agustin and Lenilda Raguindin, auditors; Lilia Pitt and Evelyn Dulay, business managers; Carmencita Viray, and Ma. Corazon Palomares, peace officers; Rommel Ulep, Lilybeth Rambaud, Celia Pamilteng, and Virginia Estepa, PROs; and, Edward Operaña, Virginia Rancapero, Erlinda Gampayon, and Jocelyn Llarenas, board of directors.

 

The new officers are set to take their oath on June 8, in the celebration of the 2017 Migrant Workers Day, in the City of San Fernando, La Union.

 

The activity was also witnessed by the Department of Labor and Employment Central Pangasinan Field Office led by its chief, Engracio Bailon, Provincial Government of Pangasinan, represented by Provincial PESO staff Christopher Dioquino; City Government of San Carlos represented by PESO manager Reynaldo Dela Cruz; and the OWWA Regional Welfare Office I (OWWA RWOI) led by OIC PSD Marivic L. Mondina.

OFC leaders pose for posterity as they cap the two-day team building activity on May 30-31, 2017 at the Kabaleyan Cove Resort, San Carlos City, Pangasinan.
 

A total of 63 OFC leaders participated in the team-building activity, facilitated for them by the OWWA RWOI. 

 
Mr. Allen Jeffrey O. Saraza (upper left) employed various learning techniques such as games, group activities and lectures to illustrate lessons on team dynamics, group communication, and strategic planning.
 
The OFC leaders’ speed, endurance and agility were also tested in this game called blanket volleyball. 

 

RWO XI
Davao Region to celebrate 22nd Migrant Workers’ Day

Davao City – All is set for the region’s celebration of the 22nd Migrant Workers’ Day on June 7, 2017. With this year’s theme: “Magkasangga Para sa Kapakanan, Kabuhayan at Kalusugan ng mga OFWs”, the event will be held at the Kadayawan Hall, NCCC Mall, Mac Arthur Highway, Maa, Davao City  from 12:00 p.m to 5:30 p.m. The celebration is in pursuant to R.A .8042 otherwise known as Magna Carta for OFWs which was enacted June 7, 1995 and was recently amended by virtue of R.A. 10022 declaring every 7th day of June as the Migrant Workers’ Day which aims to recognize the immense contributions of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to the national economy.

 
In line with this objective, the regional office resolves to undertake various activities to honor and empower our migrant workers. One of the highlights of the program is the awarding and recognition of Outstanding PESO Managers of the entire Davao Region for the unwavering support in the promotion of OWWA programs and services through various empowering initiatives for the OFWs and their families,

 
Recognition awards shall likewise be given to outstanding OWWA Scholars,  Outstanding OFW Family Circle (OFC), and Outstanding Achievement in Entrepreneurship. Grantees of OWWA’s Balik-Pinas Balik-Hanapbuhay Program will also be awarded with livelihood starter kits during the program.

 
Free medical check-up and medicines from PNP-PRO XI will be provided to all participants who want to avail themselves of the services. Free head and back massage will also be available courtesy of the certified massage therapists of Arlyn L. Basquez Academy of Beauty and Wellness.

 
Likewise, various products of the OFW Family Circles will be displayed at the trade fair area while cash prizes and gift items await the winners of the raffle draw.

 
On the other hand, partner government agencies like POEA, DSWD, DTI, TESDA, NBI, PHILHEALTH, Pag-IBIG and SSS will provide substantial information on its various programs and services.

 
A modest attendance of eight hundred (800) OFWs and their families who are either members of the OFW Family Circles or permanently returned Migrant Workers in Davao region will join the event.

 
Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio, 3rd District Councilor Antoinette G. Principe-Castrodes, and DOLE XI Regional Director Raymundo G. Agravante are expected to grace the event.

 
This year’s celebration is made possible through OWWA’s social partners: NCCC Mall Davao, Land Bank of the Philippines, Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), Paramount General Insurance Corp., Pag-IBIG Fund, PNP-PRO XI, and Arlyn L. Basquez Academy of Beauty.

RWO IX
PAWA CHILDREN VISITED THE GRAVE OF THEIR MOTHER

Zamboanga City – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) facilitated the travel of the two children of the late OFW Jakatia M. Pawa namely Hadisza Pawa Alama and Amenchadrha Pawa Alama to visit her grave in Kuwait. The Pawa children last saw their mother in October last year while she was still in prison.

 

Jakatia M. Pawa is an OFW who was convicted of murder and was sentenced to death in 2010 by the Kuwait’s Court of Cassation, the highest court in the Middle East emirate.  After OFW Pawa’s execution last January 25, 2017, she was given a decent burial by Kuwait religious clergies in accordance with Islamic rites and traditions at Sulaibikhat Cemetery.

 

As per OWWA Board Resolution No. 003 Series of 2017, OWWA did not only grant educational and livelihood assistance to the Pawa children, they were also awarded a one-time return ticket to Kuwait to visit the grave of their mother, so on May 23, 2017, the Pawa children assisted by OWWA Regional Welfare Office IX Director Hassan Gabra T. Jumdain traveled to Kuwait.

 

On May 24, 2017 they paid a courtesy call to the Philippine Ambassador Renato Villa at Kuwait where they also met other Philippine Embassy and POLO Officials like Ustadz Nabil, Philippine Embassy Interpreter, Labor Attache Alejandro A. Padaen, Welfare Officer Nestor P. Burayag and several Filipino community Leaders in Kuwait.

 

On May 25, 2017, Director Jumdain and the two children of the late OFW Pawa proceeded to Sulaibikhat Cemetery, Al Asimah, Kuwait which is 25-30 minute drive from Philippine Embassy. Hadisza and Amenchadra were somber as they walked slowly towards their mother’s grave. “Jakatia is still a huge part of her children’s everyday life and always will be. It was tragic that she isn’t here anymore to see her children go to college, get a job or get married”, says Satria Pawa, the wife of Col. Angaris Pawa who was also present during the visit.   

 

It has been a rough start of the year 2017 for the children of the late OFW Jakatia Pawa, but Director Hassan Gabra T. Jumdain and OWWA in general has no doubt been extending assistance and helping them cope with the untimely death of their mother. 

(L-R) The children of the late OFW Jakatia Pawa: Amenchadrha Pawa Alama and Hadisza Pawa Alama

 

(L-R) Dr. Hassan Gabra T. Jumdain, OWWA RWO-IX Regional Director; Amenchadrha Pawa Alama (son of Jakatia Pawa; Hadisza Pawa Alama (daughter of Jakatia Pawa); Satria Pawa (wife of Col. Angaris Pawa, brother of Jakatia Pawa)

 

The grave of the late OFW Jakatia Pawa at Sulaibhikat Cemetery, Kuwait.

 

Dr. Hassan Gabra T. Jumdain, Amenchadrha and Hadisza Pawa Alama, Satria Pawa together with Ambassodor Renato Villa and other Philippine Embassy officials in Kuwait.

 

Dr. Hassan Gabra T. Jumdain, the PAWA children, Philippine Embassy interpreter Ustadz Nabil, Ambassador Renato Villa, LabAtt Alejandro A. Padaen, Welfare Officer Nestor P. Burayag, and other Philippine Embassy and POLO Officials 

 

Dr. Hassan Gabra T. Jumdain, the Pawa children, Ambassador Renato Villa and Filipino Community Leaders in Kuwait

 

RWO ARMM
Celebrating Academic Achievement OWWA-ARMM ODSP Scholar passed Civil Engineering Board Exam

COTABATO CITY – In addition to the growing list of successful Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) scholars, OWWA-ARMM ODSP scholar Mohammed Omar Pangato successfully passed the recent Civil Engineering Licensure Examination held last May 7-8, 2017.

 

For 5 years, Mohammed was a diligent scholar under the OFW Dependents Scholarship Program (ODSP), a scholarship grant of P 20,000.00 per year for dependents of OFWs who earn not more than US $400 per month.

 

With the great victory he achieved, Mohammed dedicated this and gave the credit to his parents.

 

Alhamdulillah! I thank Allah (SWT) - the source of my knowledge and wisdom for everything. Truly, all of these achievements are from you. I thank also my family and relatives especially Ina and Auntie Sittie for the unconditional love, untiring support and encouragement. Indeed, I’m forever indebted,” he said.

 

Mohammed also expressed his gratefulness to OWWA-ARMM for the assistance and support it has given him throughout his journey.

 

“To OWWA ARMM and staff, you didn’t just help me to achieve one of my goals but you help me in making my quest for learning undeniably fun and meaningful. Thank you very much!” he said.

 

Mohammed desires to inspire and motivate other OWWA scholars by saying, “To my co-scholars, always seek Almighty’s guidance and give your 100% effort to achieve your goals because good things will not just fall into our lap.” 

 

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