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HEAD OFFICE

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.

HEAD OFFICE

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.

HEAD OFFICE

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.

HEAD OFFICE

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: owwa_caraga24@yahoo.com, and owwacaraga@gmail.com .

HEAD OFFICE

Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello lll expressed his condolences do the bereaved family of OFW Felma D. Maramag, household service worker (HSW) in Jordan, who was killed, along with her employer, on 05 February 2017. The Secretary instructed OWWA Administrator Leo Hans J. Cacdac to facilitate the release of the benefits to the family of the OFW.  

 

OFW Maramag’s human remains were repatriated on Saturday, 18 February from Jordan, with connecting flight to Tuguegarao yesterday, Sunday, 19 February. Airport assistance, including documentation processes, was extended to the family of the deceased by the OWWA Region 2 officials, who likewise attended the wake of the late Filipino migrant worker. 

 

In the initial report submitted by the Philippine Embassy in Amman, Jordan, to the Department of Foreign Affairs, copy furnished POLO/OWWA, the bodies of the two victims were discovered by a police officer upon responding to a call from the Civil Defense Directorate of Jordan regarding a fire where the deceased OFW was employed. The police officer, the report added, brought the bodies of the two to the hospital. Upon autopsy, it would reveal that the OFW died due to blunt force trauma to the head. OFW Maramag also sustained a stab wound on the head, a broken skull, and bruises all over her body.

 

Per the directive of  Secretary Silvestre Bello, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of OWWA, the family of  the OFW victim was assured of full benefits due them at the soonest  time to help the family cope with the loss of their loved one. 

 

The family of the murdered OFW is entitled to avail of the full coverage accorded to an active member of the agency which includes P200,000.00 as death benefit, P20,000.00 as burial assistance, scholarship for the 15 year-old-daughter, livelihood assistance amounting to P15,000.00 for the surviving spouse.      

 

The murder occurred one day after Maramag celebrated her 36th birthday on 04 February. Her two years contract in Jordan would have been completed by next month. She will be interred on 28 February.

HEAD OFFICE
OWWA Extends Assistance to 35 OFWs Repatriates from Kuwait

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Deputy Administrator for Operations Atty. Brigido ‘Dodo’ Dulay leads the agency’s Repatriation Assistance Division (RAD) in according necessary assistance to thirty-five (35) overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) repatriated from Kuwait.

 

The female OFWs, employed as household service workers (HSWs), are scheduled to arrive tomorrow, Wednesday, 22 February, via Philippine Airlines flight 669 at 8:20 in the morning.

 

The repatriates experienced various labor and welfare-related issues with their employers that include non-payment of salaries, mistreatment/maltreatment, and long working hours, among others. Aside from airport assistance accorded to the distressed workers including facilitating the release of travel documents from the Bureau of Customs and Bureau of Immigration.

 

OFWs who have no place to stay in Metro Manila will be temporarily accommodated at the OWWA Halfway Home. Cash-strapped HSWs will be given transportation fares and will be accompanied to the bus terminals onward to their respective provinces. Those who have legal issues and concerns with their agencies such as non-payment of salaries will be offered legal advise through the Single-Entry Approach (SEnA) Program. All returning workers are entitled to avail of the inter-agency program Assist WELL Program where WELL stands for Welfare, Employment, Legal and Livelihood, the   Assist WELL is a collaboration program, is a collaboration  between the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), OWWA, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), and the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA). The objective of the Assist WELL program is to help the distressed OFWs imbibe a positive outlook in life and to get their lives going by giving them options in their means of livelihood and employment.   

 

Assist WELL Processing Centers nationwide are located in the following areas: POEA Main Office-Ortigas; OWWA Main Office-Pasay City; NRCO Main Office, Intramuros, Manila; DOLE- CAR, Baguio City; POEA Regional Center for Luzon Region 1, La Union; DOLE Region ll, Tuguegarao; DOLE Region lll, Pampanga; OWWA Regional Office lV-A, Calamba, Laguna; DOLE Region lV-B, Calapan, Mindoro; DOLE Region V, Bicol; DOLE Region Vll, Bacolod; OWWA Regional Welfare Office Vll, Cebu City; DOLE Region Vlll-Tacloban; OWWA Regional Welfare Office lX-Zamboanga; DOLE Region X, Cagayan de Oro; DOLE Region Xl, Davao Field Office; DOLE Region Xll- Koronadal;  and POEA, CARAGA, Butuan City.

HEAD OFFICE
OWWA Awards Benefits to Next-of-Kin of Seafarer Killed in Accident

Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello lll expressed his condolences upon learning of the tragic accident that claimed the life of Filipino seafarer ALLAN A. NAVALES, who worked as a fitter mechanic onboard M/S Emerald Princess. Bello, Chairman of the OWWA Board of Trustees (BOT), immediately directed OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac to facilitate the release of the benefits due to the family of the late crew.  

 

In a report  submitted to OWWA Deputy Administrator  Brigido ‘Dodo’ Dulay by Magsaysay Maritime Corporation, the sea-based worker’s manning agency, the accident occurred on 09 February as seafarer Navales  was seen refilling a gas bottle used as device in the launching of the lifeboat davits. The gas bottle supposedly exploded, inflicting multiple traumatic injuries on the seafarer, who was declared dead on the same day. Magsaysay added that it is still confirming the said report, and is closely coordinating with its principal to determine the veracity of the circumstances surrounding the death of the 32-year-old seaman. It was learned that this is the crew member’s third contract with the company.

 

The deceased OFW’s next-of-kin is eligible to receive the following benefits: P220,000.00 as death benefit; P20,000.00 as burial assistance, scholarship for one child, livelihood assistance of P15,000.00 for the surviving spouse. The benefits awarded to the family is over and above the benefits they will get from the seafarer’s manning agency.

OWWA Deputy Administrator for Operations Brigido Dulay handles the cheque amounting to Php 220,000.00 to the next of kin of deceased OFW Allan A. Navales.

HEAD OFFICE
OWWA Bats for More Protection to Children of OFWs

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Department of Justice (DOJ)  forge a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the full protection of  the children of  the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) against any form of abuse by those individuals left behind to look after their welfare. Signatories to the MOU to be held  at the DOLE office in Intramuros, Manila, are Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello lll who represents OWWA, as the agency’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees; Secretary Vitaliano N. Aguirre ll for DOJ, and Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo for DSWD.

 

Under the Agreement, OWWA shall provide orientation on its programs and services, procedures and processes in availing of programs and other guidelines that may deem necessary for the swift delivery of its programs and services, Intensify child protection campaigns on violence against children especially children of OFWs; Conduct regular consultations and monitoring thru the Family Welfare Officer for the immediate clarification and resolution on issues and concerns raised by the clients; Provide relevant information on specific cases of OFWs, when necessary; assist in the distribution and dissemination of the Child Abuse and Exploitation information materials thru its OFW Family Circles (OFCs) and OFW Help Desks;  Integrate/include the Child Abuse and Exploitation module prepared by the DSWD in its regular conduct of trainings and orientations for OFWs and their families; and report to DSWD, DOJ and other law enforcement authorities suspected child abuse activities and/or brought to its attention in the course of implementation of its programs and services, such as PDOS, community organizing, community meeting/orientation, family counseling, among others.

 

On the other hand, DOJ shall conduct preliminary investigation on child abuse and exploitation cases; rovide legal advice/assistance to the child/family; Coordinate and monitor the status of referred cases filed at the Prosecutors’ offices and in courts; Ensure child-friendly, child and gender sensitive investigations of cases as stipulated in the DOJ-CSPC Protocol for the Management of Child Victims of Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation; conduct speedy preliminary investigation/resolution of referred cases; Participate in the case conferences on cases referred by OWWA; and Participate in the convergence program of the OWWA, DSWD, LGU, and POEA.

 

In the meantime, DSWD shall provide assistance, shelter and protection on the children of OFWs who are victims of child abuse and exploitation in coordination with the LGUs; coordinate with the agencies covered by this MOU regarding the process of reporting complaints and assistance as well as undertake case management of all cases referred by OWWA and provide status report of such; Participate in the prevention campaign against Child Abuse and Exploitation and enter in a convergence with OWWA, DOLE, LGU, DOJ, AFI; Make available on request resource speakers on Child Abuse and Exploitation; provide information materials on the campaign against Child Abuse and Exploitation such as brochures, pamphlets, posters as well as copies of recent child abuse laws and regulation for distribution in their respective constituencies; Provide other forms of assistance, pursuant to its mandate under Executive Order No. 221 and Executive Order No. 1 that define the mandate, roles, powers and functions of the DSWD and its implementing  Rules and Regulations, and for other purposes, as may be requested; Take the lead in the conduct of psycho-social interventions/referrals and case conferences on cases referred by OWWA; and integrate issues and concerns of children of OFWs in the Family Development Sessions (FDs) and Parenting Effectiveness Sessions (PES) modules.

 

The MOU complements Republic Act No. 7610, “An Act Providing Stronger Deterrence and Special Protection Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination”, and Republic Act No. 9262, “An Act on Violence Against Women and their Children” (VAWC).

 

The government is quite alarmed by the national baseline study on violence against children initiated by the Council for the Welfare of Children and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which states that  migration is one of the reasons of physical, sexual, or psychological violence to children citing the following: Two (2)  out of three (3) children reported to have experienced any form of physical violence; one (1) out of four (4) children reported to have suffered from any form of sexual violence; and three (3) out of five (5) children reported to experience peer  violence or bullying.

 

Further, tall tale reports of children of OFWs, notably the heart wrenching case of the death of the two-year-old boy, son of an OFW in Hong Kong, who succumbed to death due to cruelty inflicted on him by no less than his mother’s trusted relatives disguised as ‘caretakers’. 

 

“The bolt-in of the three government  agencies, DOJ, DSWD, and OWWA, to bolster the well-being of the children of OFWs serves as a balancing act between the desire of OFW parents to provide  the needs of their children by working abroad on one hand, and to ensure that their children are in the `safe hands’ of the people they have chosen to look after the well-being of their loved ones. Hopefully, thru this MOU among our partners, we will be able to realize a zero-victim/casualty of any form of abuse to children of OFWs. After all, we do now wish to see a double-whammy situation; an absent parent and an abused child, ”, OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac said.

HEAD OFFICE

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.

HEAD OFFICE
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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