Airport and other relevant assistance will be extended to thirty-one (31) overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who availed of the 90-day Amnesty Program offered by the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), as the OFWs returned home today, Tuesday, 11 April 2017, at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), via Philippine Airlines flight PR 663 at 7:00 o’clock in the morning.
This 25 batch of repatriated Filipino migrant workers is part of the expected 5,000 OFWs who took the opportunity to come home ‘minus’ the penalty implemented within the 90-day grace period by the ‘host country’, due to various reasons cited as follows: residents whose iqama expired on or before 19 March 2017; workers with work permit but no iqama ID card; run away workers reported as such on or before 19 March 2017; Umrah and Haj over stayers (pilgrimage); pilgrims without Haj permit; and ‘infiltrators’ crossing Saudi borders.
Aside from airport assistance, the distressed workers will receive post repatriation services that include temporary shelter at the OWWA halfway home; psycho-social counseling/stress debriefing; medical referral; provision of transport services or fare for their onward travel to their respective provinces.
“The Philippine Embassy and Philippine Overseas Labor Officials, made arrangements to process the OFWs’ registration and documentation prior to their travel exit. As this happens, OWWA Manila will take the next step from the airport to their travel to their respective destinations,” OWWA Officer-in-Charge Josefino I. Torres said.
Other options for displaced OWWA members are the “Balik-Pinas! Balik-Hanapbuhay! Program, a non-cash livelihood package worth P10,000.00 where they will be provided with a ‘starter kit’ ; Referral to TESDA’s Reintegration Program for OFWs where returning workers and one of their family members are given slots in the free training skills either for wage or self-employment, assessment and certification, jobs referral and employment assistance.
OIC Torres added that the DOLE Assist WELL Program for welfare, employment, legal, livelihood, are open for distressed OFWs’ stress-debriefing or counseling by OWWA; local employment referral or job placement by the Bureau of Local Employment (BLE); overseas employment referral or placement by POEA; livelihood assistance by OWWA and NRCO; legal assistance or conciliation services by POEA, DOLE Regional Offices and Regional Coordinating Centers, and competency assessment and training assistance by TESDA.
Meanwhile, non-OWWA members are referred to NRCO’s Balik-Pinay!, Balik-Hanapbuhay! Livelihood Program, a non-cash training and livelihood program for undocumented OFWs.
Throughout the implementation of the program, the OWWA Repatriation Team will be on standby for the batches of returning workers who availed of KSA’s “Nation Without Violations’ 90-Day Amnesty Program.
One hundred thirty-nine (139) Filipinos who were granted exit visas under Saudi Arabia’s “Nation Without Violations” amnesty program arrived at 3:40 am today on board Saudia Airlines flight SV 7079.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte, along with Cabinet members and ranking government officials, welcomed the repatriated overseas Filipino workers comprised of sixty-five (65) females and twenty (20) children coming from Bahay Kalinga (or female shelter), and another fifty-four (54) males who resided in the Estiraha (or male shelter), including sixteen (16) walk-in clients at the Philippine Embassy in Saudi Arabia.
The 90-day Saudi Arabian amnesty program was launched on 29 March 2017. On the same day, Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III deployed a “Rapid Response Team” composed of DOLE Undersecretary Dominador S. Say, Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac, OWWA, Deputy Administrator Brigido J. Dulay, OWWA lawyer Cesar L. Chavez, Jr., OWWA and POEA lawyer Anna Patricia P. Jacobo to assess the situation of the OFWs availing of the amnesty program.
Due to goodwill generated by the visit of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia chartered a plane to fly the OFWs back to the country for free, at no cost to the Philippine government.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) headed by Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III, and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) repatriation team extended airport assistance to the returning OFWs such as the travel document processing, use of a special immigration lane, and baggage assistance.
OWWA also provided post-repatriation services to the workers which include temporary shelter at the OWWA Halfway Home, psycho-social counseling/stress debriefing, and transport services. Each worker, whether active or inactive OWWA member, received five thousand pesos (Php 5,000.00) cash assistance from the Office of the President as well as an additional five thousand pesos (Php 5,000.00) from DOLE/OWWA.
The OFWs likewise offered the returning OFWs a package of services from the DOLE Assist WELL program that provides “Welfare, Employment, Livelihood, and Legal Assistance” to displaced workers.
OWWA members can avail of the Balik-Pinas, Balik Hanapbuhay Program - a non-cash livelihood package worth ten thousand (Php 10,000.00) consisting of a starter kit and techno-skills training. Non-OWWA members, on the other hand, shall be referred to the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) for availment of their non-cash training and livelihood program.
The OWWA Repatriation Team and the 24/7 Operations Center, in close coordination with the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in KSA, are in full alert in monitoring the updates on flight advisories and schedules of arrivals of the succeeding batches of returning workers availing of the amnesty program.
The Philippine government, thru the Philippine Embassy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO )in KSA, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), are ready to assist undocumented overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who availed of the amnesty offered by the Kingdom this month.
DOLE Secretary Silvestre H. Bello lll immediately sent a Team to KSA to assess the situation/condition of the workers to make sure that their repatriation will be processed smoothly. Dubbed as “Nation Without Violations”, the 90-Day Amnesty of Grace Period offered by the Saudi government is a welcome development to OFWs covered by the said `exemption to penalties’.
Coverage of the amnesty are enumerated as follows: residents whose iqama expired on or before 19 March 2017, workers with work permit but no iqama ID card; runaway workers reported as such on or before 19 March 2017, Umrah and Haj overstayer (pilgrimage), pilgrims without Haj permit; and “Inflitrators’ crossing Saudi borders.
The Philippine Embassy encourages the OFWs and their families here to advise their OFW relatives to take the opportunity and register themselves and get home with the help of the Philippine government.
Once documentation are processed, OWWA Manila will extend airport assistance to returning workers. OWWA will issue announcements on the batch of returning workers that applied for the amnesty.
All systems go for the holding of the DOLE-OWWA Job-cum-Livelihood Fair for displaced OFWs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) on Tuesday, 28 March 2017, at the Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC) auditorium at North Avenue cor. Agham Road, Diliman, Quezon City (across Veterans Memorial Medical Center). The event starts at 8:30 in the morning.
Dubbed as “Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan: (TNK), the DOLE-OWWA Job and Livelihood Fair held a 3-day pre-registration activity on March 13, 14, and 15 thru on-line registration via philjobnet.ph, and offline registration by visiting OWWA, POEA Assist WELL Desk, NRCO, PESO-LGUs in NCR, Region 3 and Region 4-A.
Target of the job and livelihood fair are the displaced OFWs from KSA from the National Capital Region (NCR) and the nearby areas in Region 4-A, and Region 3, formerly employed by the 9 big firms in KSA who experienced financial crunch due to plummeting oil price in the world market namely; Mohammed al-Mojil Group (MMG), Saudi Bin Laden Group of Companies (SBG), Saudi Oger Ltd. (SOL), Mohammad Hameed Al-Bargash & Bros. Trading and Construction, Aluminum Company (ALUMCO L.L.C.), Rajeh H. Al Merri Contracting & Trading Company, Fawzi Salah-Al Nairani Contracting Company, Arabtec Construction L.L.C., and Real Estate Development and Investment Company.
Those who pre-registered thru online and offline are advised to bring their stubs with the following documents: resume, certificate of training, diploma, transcript of records, certificate of employment, passport and 1”x1” or 2”x2” ID photos.
Twenty (20) overseas recruitment agencies confirmed their participation and 15 local employment agencies registered to the said activity.
The organizers of the activity, DOLE-OWWA, POEA, Bureau of Local Employment, DOLE-NCR, and the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) committed to ensure full support to the project.
OFW walk-in applicants will also be accommodated and entertained during the event. The government partners anticipate `on-the-spot job hiring’ mostly from the construction and maintenance industry where the majority of the workers came from.
OWWA said that the ‘meet’ and ‘hire’ system will be advantageous to pre-registrants who were able to submit their qualifications earlier for possible ‘job matching’ with prospective/participating agencies/employers.
Meanwhile, OFWs who do not wish to re-enter employment, and opted to engage in entrepreneurship may register and attend available livelihood sessions such as financial awareness, small business enterprise, franchising, and agricultural enterprise spearheaded by OWWA, NRCO, Global Filipino Investors, Philippine Franchising Association and the Department of Agriculture (DA).
The DOLE-OWWA job-cum-livelihood fair will be replicated in other Regional offices nationwide.
More than 1,000 OFW job hunters and would-be entrepreneurs are expected to respond to the government’s invitation.
OWWA assisted 21 repatriated OFWs from Saudi Oger and 31 deportees from Jeddah today, 21 March 2017. The workers were accorded airport assistance, temporary shelter at the OWWA Halfway Home, and transport services or fares for their onward travel to their respective provinces.
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) invites all Marine Deck and Engine Officers to grab the opportunity to avail of the `free training’ for the Updating Management Level Courses (MLCs) offered by the agency to its active members.
To respond to the clamor of the Filipino sea based workers for financial subsidy to Marine Deck and Engine Officers who were not able to comply to the 2010 Standards of Training and Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) Convention which will be fully implemented on 01 July 2017, the OWWA Board of Trustees, chaired by Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello lll approved the OWWA Board Resolution No. 14, series of 2017, which allocates Php50 Million as assistance to finance the training of the said sea based workers.
Entitled to the financial subsidy which amounts to Seven Thousand Five Hundred Pesos (P7,500.00) are active members who have at least three (3) membership contributions to the Fund, and who have not yet availed any OWWA program covering said contributions.
“We hope to enroll as many non-compliant active members as we can as support to the plight of our member-seafarers, who because of their failure to take the MLCs prohibited them to progress to the next step,” OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac said.
Filipino seafarers are considered the world’s most in demand in the seafaring industry because of their impressive qualities in terms of skills, technical-know-how, adaptability, reliability and their ability to communicate in English, to name a few. At least two-thirds of the world’s sea based workers are Filipinos.
Courses offered for Deck Officer are: Navigation at the Management Level, Controlling the Operation of the Ship and Care for Persons on Board at the Management Level, and for Marine Engineer; Marine Engineering at the Management Level, Electrical and Electronic Control Engineering at the Management Level, Maintenance and Repair at the Management Level, Controlling the Operation of the Ship and Care for Persons on Board at the Management Level.
Availees must submit Two (2) copies of accomplished application form, 2 copies of 2x2 photos, seafarer’s Identification and Record Book (SIRB) and passport, Enrollment confirmation, Certification/Endorsement from Principal/Manning Agency that he/she has not yet availed of similar scholarship grant.
Application for the MLCs may be filed within 90 days from the date of the seafarer-member’s arrival in the Philippines. Implementation of the Program is until June 30, 2017, without extension.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), through the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Bureau of Local Employment, DOLE-NCR and the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) will conduct a three-day Pre-Registration Activity on March 13, 14, and 15, in preparation to the Job and Livelihood Fair scheduled on 28 March 2017 at the Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC) in Agham Road, Quezon City.
Target of the Job-cum-Livelihood Fair are all displaced OFWs residing in NCR and Regions 3 and 4-A from the nine (9) big firms in KSA namely; Mohammed al-Mojil Group (MMG), Saudi Bin Laden Group of Companies (SBG), Saudi Oger Ltd. (SOL), Mohammad Hameed Al-Bargash & Bros.Trading & Construction, Aluminum Company (ALUMCO L.L.C.), Rajeh H. Al Merri Contracting & Trading Company, Fawzi Salah-Al Nairani Contracting Company, Arabtec Construction L.L.C., and Real Estate Development and Investment Company. Interested OFWs from among the 9 firms listed above may opt to pre-register through on-line registration by logging on to philjobnet.gov.ph, where the OFWs will be guided on the registration procedures; or through off-line (manual) pre-registration by personally visiting the following offices: OWWA Central Office at OWWA Center, 7th Street, corner F.B. Harrison, Pasay City; DOLE Assist WELL Center at the POEA, EDSA corner Ortigas Avenue, Mandaluyong City; National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO), Blas F. Ople Building, Solana corner Victoria St., Intramuros, Manila, Public Employment and the Service Office (PESO)- Local Government Units PESO-LGUs) in NCR, Region 3 and Region 4-A.
The printed pre-registration stubs obtained during the 3 day- pre-registration system shall serve as the pre-registered applicants’ passes upon entering the Job Fair area at the OSHC on March 28. Walk-in applicants will also be accepted and accommodated during the event after filling out the registration forms available at the venue.
“For our initial take off on 28 March, we invited 20 recruitment agencies for overseas employment, and 20 employers for local job placement. During the event, we wish on-the-spot hiring of OFWs who opted to take another chance getting employed, or be engaged in livelihood undertakings and be their `own boss’ to those who opted to stay in the Philippines and venture into business,” OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac said.
At the same venue, a livelihood training and clinicquing assistance shall be conducted in designated training rooms at the OSHC manned by LandBank, OWWA and NRCO personnel, among others.
Job and Livelihood Fairs for stranded OFWs from other regions are also planned in the immediate future. Notably DOLE Regional Office 7 has scheduled several Job and Livelihood Fairs on March 12 at Cebu Provincial Capitol Social Hall, on March 16-17 at University of San Jose-Recoletos, Cebu City; on March 18 at Cebu City Sports Center, and Panphil B. Frasco Memorial Sports Complex, and on March 20 at Mandaue City Sports Complex.
Cacdac invites all OFWs formerly employed in the said firms in KSA to grab the opportunity to enroll in the pre-registration dates in order to facilitate the employment process.
Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello lll expressed his condolences to the family of ABIGAIL GINO ESPINA BASAS, a sea-based Filipino worker who was just taking his vacation last month and was due to return in the cruise ship where he was employed as a photographer. Bello instructed the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to release benefits due to the family of the departed worker who was an active OWWA at the time of his death.
The sad incident occurred last Saturday, 04 March 2017, inside a bar-cum-billiards spot somewhere in Quezon City, when a group of men reportedly mauled the OFW and his companion after the OFW photographer accidentally bumped one of the men in the group on his way out of the area. Basas and his companion reportedly received punches and was beaten by the suspects at the parking area. He was later brought to a nearby hospital where he died.
The 28-year old seaman would have celebrated his 29th birthday on 02 April. He was single.
In this connection, OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac said that the family of the OFW will receive the full coverage of the agency’s programs and services that include P200,000.00 for insurance benefit; P20,000.00 for burial, the scholarship component of the Education and Livelihood Assistance Program (ELAP) to his sibling, brother or sister, below 21 years old, and P15,000.00 for the parent of OFW Basas since he was single.
“We send our prayers for the early resolution of the case of OFW Basas and we hope that justice will come to his grieving family soonest,” Administrator Cacdac said.
Today, 08 March 2017, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre H. Bello lll is the keynote speaker in the “Parangal sa mga Natatanging Kababaihan” where seventeen (17) women OFWs coming from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration’s (OWWA) seventeen (17) Regional Welfare Offices (RWOs) will be recognized for their exemplary works in balancing acts as ‘homemakers’ and `achievers’. The recognition for the feat and achievements of these Filipino women migrant workers is in conjunction with the celebration of the Women’s month
Nominees for the awards were carefully screened based on the following criteria: Active involvement as Officer of the OFW Family Circle or OFC which serves as the agency’s social partner in disseminating its relevant programs and services at the ‘grassroots level’; Advocates of women empowerment, welfare and development; active participant in OFW issues and concerns and community projects; Serves as inspiration, innovator/leader in the community; Contributor in the development of community civic
activities; strongly supports activities pertaining to women issues focused on health and nutrition, entrepreneurship, gender equality, among others.
“For us, all women are winners in their own unique way since they remind us of the ‘heroism’ from the moment we are born and throughout our lifetime. The Filipino women migrant workers as the country’s `economic heroes’ have shown their courageous side by facing the hardships associated with labor migration, and the display of ‘unconditional love’ to their children back home. This event is truly a tribute to women empowerment. Support to women empowerment is tantamount to advocacy in gender equality,” Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello lll said.
The OFW recipients of the awards are: MYRNA B. GARCIA, CAR; ERNITA S. SANTOS, NCR; EDNA B. VALDEZ, RWO l; JOCELYN T. DANAO, RWO ll; PRISCILLA S. CRUZ, RWO lll; MARILYN B. LIGOT, RWO lV-A; EDNA R. MADRIGAL, RWO lV-B; LOLITA D. TADEO, RWO V; ALICIA D. REFOR, RWO Vl; MARCELINA C. CASTILLON, RWO Vll; MA. MELBA L. ESQUIBEL, RWO Vlll; BERNADETTE D. SEDILLO, RWO lX; FLOR T. VICTORIANO, RWO X; CARMELITA J. ANCHETA, RWO Xl; PRECILLA A. PANZO, RWO Xll; and TAHANIE MOHAMMAD DALMAOB, ARMM.
OWWA will likewise recognize the woman member of the agency’s Board of Trustees HON.. ESTRELLA MAI D. AÑONUEVO, for her advocacies in advancing women power.
Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) active members and non-active members victimized by the 6.7 earthquake that hit Surigao Province last February 13, 2017, may now apply for the financial assistance at OWWA Regional Welfare Office (RWO) in Caraga.
Pro-active stance is in display again for the welfare and well-being of the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) as Secretary Silvestre H. Bello lll of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Chairman of the OWWA Board of Trustees approved Board Resolution No. 006, Series of 2017, allocating the amount of Eleven Million, Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (Php11.5M), granting financial assistance to tremor victims of Php3,000.00 per family of active OWWA members, and P1,500.00 per family of non-active members of the agency.
Based on the ocular inspection initiated by the OWWA Regional Welfare Office (RWO) in Caraga, a number of OFW families suffered minor damage to their properties, as well as shortage on food and potable water.
The agency expects to reach around 3,848 individuals in the affected areas in the municipalities of Surigao Province namely Sison, San Francisco, Mainit, Malimono, and Surigao City.
Affected families may apply for said financial assistance to OWWA Caraga at telephone numbers (085) 342-61-78; (085) 225-5989, or at these email address: email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org .