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The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is fast tracking the release of the package of benefits due to the families of two overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Oman who died in the early morning of Saturday, 04 February 2017, when a fire gutted the workers’ accommodation.

 

Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello lll immediately instructed OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac to immediately respond to the needs of the families left behind by OFWs Susan Padojinog and Emilia Bobo. OFW Bobo, who was one of the fatalities, celebrated her 41st birthday on 02 February 2017. The two OFWs worked as hairstylists at the Golden Coast Trading.

 

The  families of the fire victims one from  South Cotabato and the other from Quezon, were informed of the unfortunate incident by the Philippine Overseas Labor Officials (POLO)  in Oman. There were twenty-two workers staying in the accommodation when the area was engulfed by the fire. Fifteen of the occupants were Filipino nationals.

 

Meanwhile, officials of POLO-OWWA, along with the representatives of the OFWs’ foreign recruitment agency (FRA) in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, visited the OFWs who suffered minor injuries due to the blaze. Eleven victims were confined at the Oman Royal Hospital, while one victim was brought to Oman Khoula Hospital for treatment as a result of smoke inhalation. Currently, the OFWs are reportedly in stable condition and are recuperating. The FRA paid for the victims’ hospital bills including medicines and laboratory exams/results.

 

OWWA Officer-in-Charge Josefino I. Torres assured the families of the victims that OWWA will closely coordinate with POLO-Oman and monitor the condition of the fire victims. He added that his office is awaiting for the advise on the repatriation of the human remains of the two fatalities and/or request for repatriation of the fire survivors.

 

“We are aware that although the victims have survived the incident, they may still be in trauma or in a state of shock considering that two of their co-workers did not make it. Thus, as part of the OWWA’s  program and service, we may conduct psycho-social counseling to them when they arrive in case they decide to come home to be with their respective families,” OIC Torres said.

 

In the meantime, OIC Torres volunteers that the next-of-kin (NOK) of OFWs Padojinog and Bobo are entitled to full coverage of the agency’s programs and services since their relatives were active OWWA members at the time of their demise. He enumerated that these include death benefits due to accident of P200,000.00, P20,000 burial benefits, psycho-social counseling, scholarship and livelihood components of Education and Livelihood Assistance Program or ELAP i.e. livelihood package of P15,000.00 to the family’s business venture of their choice; and educational assistance to one OFW beneficiary from elementary, high school or college, as the case may be, until the child finishes college. OFWs are likewise covered by mandatory insurance by their respective recruitment/manning agencies.

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MOU on the Incorporation of AHOCI Sub-module in the PDOS and PEOS

Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Incorporation of Agency Hired Overseas Filipino Worker Compulsory Insurance (AHOCI) Sub–Module in the Pre-Employment Orientation Seminars (PEOS) and Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS).

 

The MOU was signed today, 27 January 2017, by OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac, POEA Officer-In-Charge Dominador R. Say and Insurance Commissioner Dennis B. Funa, during the Insurance Commission’s 68th Anniversary Celebration at the Insurance Commission Grounds, UN Avenue, Manila.

 

This collaboration aims to advance the protection of the rights and welfare of migrant workers thru promoting awareness among OFWs, their beneficiaries, and the general public on the coverages and benefits of the compulsory insurance.

 

The AHOCI is pursuant to Section 37–A of RA No. 8042, as amended by RA No. 10022, otherwise known as “Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995,” states that each migrant worker deployed by a recruitment or manning agency shall be covered by a compulsory insurance policy which shall be secured at no cost to the said worker, which shall remain valid during the duration of the migrant worker’s employment and shall cover (1) accidental death, (2) natural death, (3) permanent total disablement, (4) repatriation cost, (5) subsistence allowance, (6) money claims, (7) compassionate visit, (8) medical evacuation, and (9) medical repatriation.

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OWWA Admin Cacdac's visit to the family of OFW Pawa

OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac, together with OWWA RWO IX Director Hassan Gabra T. Jumdain, POEA Regional Ext. Unit IX Head Marietta Bellotindos, and DOLE Region IX Assistant Regional Director Yahya Centi, visited the family of OFW Jakatia Pawa,yesterday, 27 January 2017.

 

OWWA offered a package of programs and services to the bereaved family of OFW Pawa, the household service worker (HSW) executed in Kuwait in the afternoon of Wednesday, 25 January 2017.

 

OWWA RWO 9 will continue to monitor the welfare and well-being of the children of OFW Pawa per instructions of Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III and Administrator Cacdac.

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OWWA Admin Cacdac's visit to the family of OFW Pawa

OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac, together with OWWA RWO IX Director Hassan Gabra T. Jumdain, POEA Regional Ext. Unit IX Head Marietta Bellotindos, and DOLE Region IX Assistant Regional Director Yahya Centi, visited the family of OFW Jakatia Pawa,yesterday, 27 January 2017.

 

OWWA offered a package of programs and services to the bereaved family of OFW Pawa, the household service worker (HSW) executed in Kuwait in the afternoon of Wednesday, 25 January 2017.

 

OWWA RWO 9 will continue to monitor the welfare and well-being of the children of OFW Pawa per instructions of Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III and Administrator Cacdac.

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For OWWA, Urgency is the Order of the Day

OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac is pleased with the outcome of the report prepared by the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) on the implementation of the Single Entry Approach (SEnA) Program for the period of January 1 to November 30, 2016 where OWWA disposed and settled OFW cases within six (6) days from filing. The validated reports by SEnA implementers on 14 December 2016 were submitted to Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello lll.   

 

According to Administrator Cacdac  who practices a  “hands-on management style” particularly on matters involving the welfare and protection of OFWs, SEnA would lessen and/or eradicate the “turu- turuan” system  in filing  cases  where complaining OFWs are being referred from one office to  another which in effect is detrimental to the interest of the public.

 

During the 11-month period, OWWA handled Requests for Assistance (RFAs) resulting from various cases, namely; contract violations/substitutions, non-payment of wages and overtime pay, payment of end-of-service benefits, mistreatment, maltreatment, poor living condition, retrieval of passport and/or travel documents, among others.

 

From January to November 2016, OWWA received a total of 5,382 cases and 5,557 RFAs. Out of the 5,382 cases, 5,067 were settled (with settlement rate of 91%) while out of the 5,557 RFAs, 5,273  were disposed (with a disposition rate of 95%), within 6 days from filing or within the 30-day mandatory period. Not a single case was dropped by any OFW-complainant due to lack of interest.

 

Further, the monetary benefits awarded to 5,671 OFWs by the OWWA was recorded at Php132,919,057.20. The figures showing the disposition and settlement rate in implementing SEnA is a good indication that the agency is capable to handle OFW cases. This gesture, added by the OWWA chief manifests the “trust” and “confidence” from the OFW clients.

 

OWWA Chief Cacdac stressed that OWWA will continue to serve the interests of the OFWs the best possible way, at the soonest time, since he stresses that he always instills in the minds of the OWWA personnel that “urgency is always the order of the day in OWWA”, that is why every case of OFW is treated as important as any case for that matter.

 

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Online Payment Services in store for OWWA members: OWWA and LBP ink Memorandum of Agreement for Electronic Payment Portal (ePP)

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Landbank of the Philippines (LBP) for the implementation of online payment of OWWA membership thru LBP’s Electronic Payment Portal (ePP).

 

The MOA was signed yesterday, 17 January 2017, by OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac and LBP President and CEO Alex V. Buenaventura at the DOLE Office in Intramuros, Manila. The ceremonial signing was witnessed by DOLE Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III and LBP Senior Vice President Liduvino S. Geron.

 

Under the agreement, Landbank’s ePP, an internet-based payment system, shall be made accessible to Balik Manggagawa OFWs who wish to renew their OWWA membership by allowing them to pay their contributions via the internet using any of the payment options being offered by Landbank.

 

“This collaboration with LBP is envisioned to provide OWWA members with faster and more accessible means of renewing their membership to ensure their protection while working overseas. We, at OWWA, believe that we should use the available technology to our advantage, that is why we are working hard to integrate it in our programs to enhance service delivery to our OFW-clients”, Administrator Cacdac said.

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OFW in Video Returns Home; OWWA Lends a Helping Hand

45-year-old overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Rosemarie B. Jullanda, whose video went viral in the social media when she uploaded a video of herself crying uncontrollably after allegedly being slapped, kicked, and beaten by her ‘aba’ or male employer in Zarah, Kuwait, is now back in the Philippines.

 

According to Rosemarie, so far, this is her third employer and she didn’t expect to be treated the way she was treated by her ‘doctor’ employer. Most of the time, added OFW Jullanda, it was only her `madame’ who stays in the house since the husband of her employer works in Riyadh.

 

She admitted that she was the one who uploaded the video herself and was actually clueless how the video became trending in social media. “Ang amo ko pa ang nagsabi sa akin na nasa video ako at noong nalaman niya iyon ay sinaktan na naman niya ako,” the OFW said reminiscing the unfortunate incident. She then requested her female employer to accompany her to her foreign recruitment agency (FRA) to inform them of her predicament as she wanted to flee out of her employer’s  unconducive work environment. She was hoping against hope that she would be brought to the Philippine Embassy where she would temporarily stay while processing her repatriation.

 

Her hope was dampened when she was brought by her employer to a deserted place where she stayed for two hours, with no one in sight. There, she prayed real hard wishing to end her nightmare. One event led to another. In one moment she was even brought to a police station where she stayed for 16 hours, talked to her Foreign Recruitment Agency, where she was brought back to her employer.

 

At her employer’s house, she was made to appear again in video, this time retracting everything she said in her earlier appeal. In order to end her agony, she added that she struggled to adhere to her male employer’s demand for an apology, and even started to work again for them, which, according to her is part of her strategy to win her employer’s trust in her. Three days after the video was shown and viewed by the Filipino communities abroad as well as the Philippine Embassy officials in Dubai, and her local recruitment agency in the Philippines, she felt somewhat surprised and greatly relieved that one morning, her employer handed her the plane ticket, and accompanied her to the airport en route to the Philippines.

 

“Sobrang nakahinga ako nang maluwag at makakauwi na sa Pilipinas,” the visibly happy Rosemarie quipped. All things happened so fast that she was not able to think of anything but to return home.

 

At the OWWA Center, a settlement was agreed upon by OFW Jullanda and representatives from ABCA International Corporation, her local recruitment agency which was witnessed by OIC Carmelina F. Velasquez and Atty. Edelyn D. Claustro of the Office of the Administrator. OFW Jullanda, a mother of 5 children, ages 25, 23, 21, 19, and 2 years old, received the amount of P100,00.00 representing her remaining 6 months salaries, plus medical expenses to be shouldered by ABCA.

OFW Jullanda receives her claim amounting to Php 100,000.00 from her local agency, ABCA, witnessed by OWWA Officer-In-Charge Carmelina F. Velasquez.
 

OWWA will  also  provide scholarship program   and offered  the  “Balik Pinas, Balik Hanapbuhay  livelihood program to the distressed OFW.  Rosemarie  started working for the couple in April 2015.


OFW Rosemarie B. Jullanda carefully reads the provisions of the financial settlement with her local agency.

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Christmas Greetings

Maligayang Pasko sa lahat ng OFWs saan mang panig ng mundo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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VAWC Free PH Campaign A

VAWC Free PH Campaign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Freed Filipino seafarers Hijacked by Somali Pirates To Return Home

More than the ordeals they suffered and experienced from the hands of their Somali oppressors who hijacked their vessel four years ago, the five (5) Filipino crew onboard MV Nahan 3 will return to the Philippines to be reunited with their loved ones. .

 

The distressed sea-based workers are scheduled to be home tomorrow, Friday, 28 October via Emirates EK 332, at 4:30 in the afternoon. The group will be welcomed  and be given assistance by the officials and representatives of the government headed by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). The families of the repatriated workers will likewise be at the airport to meet them.

 

According to OWWA Officer-in-Charge Carmelina F. Velasquez, the 5 Filipino crew, namely; Arnel Pregillana Balbero, Elmer Salvador Balbero, Ferdinand Jacinto Dalit, Akes Tininggal Edwas Jr., and Antonio Auxtero Libres Jr., will be accorded assistance by the OWWA Repatriation Team upon arrival at the airport, going through  documentation process at the Immigration and Customs, and  shall provide accommodation.  

 

Aside from airport assistance and accommodation, OWWA’s support to the repatriated Filipino seafarers will include the provision of transportation fares to their respective hometowns where they will also be recommended to undergo psycho-social counseling as part of their ‘healing process’.

 

“We imagine the nightmare that our  ‘kababayans’  went through all those times, so much so that we wish that they, together with their families, will be able to adjust and be back to their normal lives. We are thankful that they at last, are able to come home safely,” OIC Velasquez said.  

 

OIC Velasquez added that the advise on the arrival of the Filipino seamen came from the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Affairs’ (OUMWA) Officer-in-Charge  Reynaldo A. Catapang. The release of the 26-man crew, explained Velasquez, was through the auspices of Oceans Beyond Piracy, a project of One Earth Foundation, which spearheaded the negotiation.

 

The crew was received by Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Jesus I. Yabes, along with Philippine Embassy in Nairobi Charge d’ Affaires Uriel R. Galibay and other DFA officials at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Negotiations for the release of the seafarers started immediately after their captivity in 2012.

 

News surrounding the release of the hostages stated that the five Filipinos were among the 29-man crew victimized by the Somali pirates when their vessel was seized on March 26, 2012, while passing through the Indian Ocean. Aside from the Filipinos, other victims of the unfortunate incident included Cambodian, Chinese, Indonesian,Taiwanese and Viatnamese nationalities.

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