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The participants of the 8th Scholars’ Conference together with the Resource Speaker and OWWA XII personnel.

&nbsp &nbsp To further equip its scholars with timely and useful learning, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration XII recently conducted the 8th Scholars’ Conference at Paraiso Verde Water Park and Resort, Koronadal City dubbed as “Seminar-Workshop on Business Etiquette and Grooming” last April 5-6, 2018.

&nbsp &nbsp The 2-day activity was actively participated by a total of thirty – six (36) scholars under the agency’s various scholarship programs, namely: Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP), OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (ODSP), Congressional Migrant Worker Scholarship Program (CMWSP) and Education and Livelihood Assistance Program (ELAP) – Education Component.

&nbsp &nbsp This year’s scholars’ conference placed emphasis on improving scholars’ personalities for future employment and dealings. The activity aims to provide avenue in the learning development of scholars in the whole of SOCCSKSARGEN region.

&nbsp &nbsp The whole duration of the activity was filled with learning and fun as the methodologies and techniques used by the speaker complements with the expectations of the scholars. Among the activities conducted were group sharing and discussions, learning sessions, reporting and role plays.

&nbsp &nbsp One of the highlights of the scholars’ conference is the awarding of certificates of recognition to OWWA scholars who graduated this school year. Moreover, a tribute was given by the scholars to OWWA XII Personnel.

&nbsp &nbsp Officer-in-Charge Marlyn E. Jamero, overwhelmed of the tribute, said, “It is so heart-warming to know that scholars appreciate our simple efforts”. She also believes that it is truly necessary to provide them with the opportunity to engage in worthwhile seminars and trainings outside of their usual set-up in their respective institutions.

&nbsp &nbsp Meanwhile, Scholarship Program In-Charge Kristine Marie H. Sison said, "We always give the best of our efforts to provide our scholars with trainings and seminars which are necessary to address their urgent needs and concerns”.

&nbsp &nbsp The Scholars’ Conference is an annual learning support mechanism of the agency that aims to provide its scholars with worthwhile trainings and seminars to support their learning development.

Group of Scholars actively participate in one of the workshops conducted.

Team Bagani proudly displays the product of their creativity.



OFW Fernando Castro, a BPBH beneficiary showcases his bakery products

Mr. Fernando Castro, a beneficiary of the Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay! Program visited the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office – National Capital Region (OWWA RWO – NCR) to show with pride his new business and express his gratitude to OWWA for the opportunity to engage in a small business last 22 December 2017.

Formerly an OFW who worked in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mr. Castro was one of many workers who were sent home because his company suffered financial losses due to prevailing economic condition in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The closing of his company left him without his daily earnings for many months. He was also among those OFWs who sought assistance from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) and OWWA for settlement of their unpaid salaries. Since he could no longer wait for the settlement of his unpaid wages and other benefits, he decided to be repatriated to the Philippines.

Upon return to the country, Mr. Castro availed of the Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay!, program aimed at providing OWWA members, active or non-active, financial assistance as immediate relief to returning OFWs who were displaced due to war, political conflicts, policy reform controls, or changes by the host government. Victims of illegal recruitment, human trafficking, and other distressful situations are also given assistance under the program.

In October 2017, the program was improved by increasing the amount of financial assistance from P10,000 to P20,000 to ensure that the cash assistance is sufficient as a start-up capital for livelihood projects of beneficiaries. It also gives them the responsibility to use the cash assistance in purchasing the required goods, equipment, and other implements for the type of business they would like to engage in.

OFW Castro was able to put up his bakery with commitment and dedication to ensure its success. He said that “because of the 20K financial assistance from OWWA, I was able to buy baking supplies/implements and materials to start my own business.” He also thanked OWWA for the opportunity to start his small business. “Thank you OWWA for giving me the opportunity to start a small business for me and my family.”, OFW Castro said. “Although we are still starting from scratch, the cash assistance will surely help us to become successful in our business ventures.”, he added.



Engr. Adrian Aniceto in his graduation photo from the University of the Philippines - Dilima

There is nothing more rewarding for OWWA employees than to see their scholars graduate and become successful in life. With the assistance of the OWWA Scholarship Program, many dependents believed that success is relative to phenomenon; but for the RWO-NCR, success is to witness the hard work of many OWWA Scholars in earning their education. Many have showed their perseverance, faith, and sacrifices, as in the case of Engineer Adrian Carlo Aniceto, a Congressional Migrant Workers Scholarship Program (CMWSP) beneficiary.

As a son of an OFW, Engineer Adrian valued his education because he wanted to give back to the hardship and sacrifices of his family. He said that he “aspired to be an OWWA scholar to help my parents financially

and at the same time, make them proud. I am privileged to be a scholar.”

On College Life

When asked about his college life, Engr. Aniceto recalled his numerous experiences that taught him to be humble. As a student in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of the Philippines – Diliman, Quezon City, he said that he entered college with high spirit and full of hope because he did his very best in high school which helped him a lot in his studies. However, he soon realized that being an ‘Iskolar ng Bayan’ wasn’t an easy path to trudge along, “As the saying goes in U.P., ‘Mahirap makapasok ng U.P. pero mas mahirap makalabas’”. During his sophomore year, he remembered that at one time he got a low grade in an exam affecting his scholarship. “From then on I realized that I should always put my feet on the ground. I also realized that no matter how educated, talented, or rich I may be, I should always stay humble and treat others with respect.”

“Integrity is the essence of everything successful.” – R. Buckminster Fuller

His last year in college was not an easy experience for him. At that time his mother was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. He recalled having to struggle warding off a roller coaster of emotions, and oftentimes having the temptation to cheat in exams. “It was a struggle to graduate but I knew I had to finish. It was my integrity that led me to do what was right and not what was easy. I studied harder, prayed harder, and persevered more to overcome life’s challenges.”

From left to right: Mrs. Evangeline Aniceto, deceased mother; Engr. Adrian Aniceto; Engr. Carlo Aniceto, father, and his sister Angelica Aniceto on graduation day

“As I lived the value of integrity, I realized that good academic credentials and graduating from a premier university are both important factors in job interviews. However, this educational background does not necessarily guarantee a high position in jobs. It is our strong character and integrity that distinguishes us from many others.”

As a hardworking student in college for 5 years, Engineer Adrian Aniceto graduated in April 2012. His determination to earn his engineering license soon followed in September of the same year. In November, he landed his first job at the First Gen Corporation in Pasig City. However, this celebration was cut short as his mother passed away as soon as he started working. “It was a difficult moment. To ease the pain of losing a loved one, I invested all my time and effort to the bidding process for our new gas power plant – Avion, in Batangas City. As First Gen was realizing at that time its vision to build a high-tech power plant, I was also trying to rebuild my life. Despite all the trials in life, I chose to remain calm and strong. I believed that when one is faced with a difficult challenge or seemingly impossible situation, we have to stay focused and be calm. Once we get into our state of focus we would be able to think of solutions to act on our problems and challenges.

Engr. Aniceto is currently the Project Development Engineer / Supervisor at the First Gen Corporation. He was also part of the team who successfully completed the development and construction of Avion, the power plant in Batangas City.

In introducing his company, he said that “Avion is the first power plant in the Philippines to run on aircraft engines for land-based power generation application. The construction of this plant started in July 2014 and the site development started in August 2014. On 26 September 2016, Avion achieved its commercial operations. The new power plant was inaugurated on 11 November 2016, attended by First Gen senior management and representatives from national government agencies like the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). What is also interesting is

that the power plant runs on natural gas, the cleanest form of fossil fuel producing 70% of emission lower than coal.”

From upper left to clockwise: Engr. Aniceta with his deceased Mother, Mrs. Evangeline Aniceta ; Engr. Adrian and his fiancée, Christian Joy Aranas after their wedding proposal; the Avion powerplant before it was finished; Engr. Aniceto’s first house with his fiancee

With the use of natural gas, Avion enhances First Gen’s position as the country’s leading clean and renewable company.

On Being a Scholar

“OWWA shaped me to become positive, persevering, and God fearing. Despite of having an incomplete grade in one of my subjects during my 5th year in college, OWWA still gave me a chance to continue my scholarship with my promise of completing the subject by 2nd semester. I was then high spirited to graduate from college. ”

When asked for an advice to aspiring OWWA scholars, he said “Always never give up! As Jay Kubassek quoted: ‘Success all depends on the second letter.’ Success will not be possible if we do not start to act on it.”

In recounting his story, Engr. Adrian Aniceto said that “Nothing is a reason for hindrance so long as we set our minds to finish a goal we have always wanted to achieve. My relationship with God, my family,

and fiancée serve as the back bone of my personal and future success. Without them, I would not be able to achieve what I have right now. Ngayon, may bahay na ako, magpapakasal na ako, at tumatakbo na ang Avion.”


Overseas Workers Welfare Administration

Regional Welfare Office 02
Launching of One-Stop Service Center for OFWs (OSSCO) in Santiago City

March 09, 2018

For the ease and convenience of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Region 2, in coordination with other agencies involved in migration, launched the One-Stop Services Center for OFWs (OSSCO) last March 9, 2018 at the Integrated Terminal Complex, Malvar, Santiago City.

As one of the agencies of the OSSCO, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Regional Welfare Office 02 will facilitate OWWA membership processing and accommodate queries on other programs and services.

The launching was spearheaded by the Administrator of Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Atty. Bernard P. Olalia, Deputy Administrator of Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Josefino I. Torres, Santiago City Mayor, Engr. Joseph S. Tan, and OIC-Regional Director of the Department of Labor and Employment – Region 2 (DOLE 2), Atty. Sarah Buena S. Mirasol.

“The establishment of OSSCO will ease the burden of OFWs on processing of their documents because they don’t need to go from one place to another anymore. They can now save time and expenses in availing government services because practically all their needs can now be catered in just one place,” Atty. Mirasol said.

Mayor Tan is very grateful of the established OSSCO.

“I would like to thank Secretary Bello for establishing OSSCO in our city. Now, my constituents need not go to Tuguegarao City to process their documents. This OSSCO is not only open to OFWs from Santiago City but also those who are from nearby municipalities and provinces. This facility is just the beginning of a bigger collaboration in the future. I am committing a lot of the City government in this area for the construction of a bigger building for one-stop government services,” Mayor Tan stressed.

On the other hand, OWWA Deputy Administrator Josefino I. Torres said the OSSCO is in recognition of the contribution to the economy of OFWs. Their remittances saved the country from the financial crisis in recent years. It is just proper to make their lives easier and establishing OSSCO is one way of helping them according to Torres.

The OSSCO in Santiago City is the 18th facility in the country and second in Region 02. Sixteen government agencies are housed in a single roof to provide services to OFWs. Heads and Representatives of the said agencies signed a Memorandum of Understanding to solidify its operation.

Aside from DOLE, OWWA, POEA and Santiago City Government, other offices that composed the center are PhilHealth, Social Security System, Pag-Ibig Fund, Department of Foreign Affairs, Philippine Statistics Authority, National Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Immigration, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Professional Regulation Commission, Commission on Higher Education, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and Santiago City Police Office.

Aside from DOLE, OWWA, POEA and Santiago City Government, other offices that composed the center are PhilHealth, Social Security System, Pag-Ibig Fund, Department of Foreign Affairs, Philippine Statistics Authority, National Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Immigration, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Professional Regulation Commission, Commission on Higher Education, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and Santiago City Police Office.

The main role of the agencies involved in the OSSCO are as follows:

  • Department of Foreign Affairs -- passport services
  • Overseas Workers Welfare Administration -- processing or renewal of OWWA membership and services;
  • Philippine Overseas and Employment Administration -- Documentation and registration of workers, legal assistance, verification of OFW records, status of overseas recruitment agencies and response to other queries;
  • Professional Regulation Commission -- Renewal of ID and certification of ratings;
  • Technical Education and Skills Development Authority -- competency assessment, verification of certificates and special order, training or scholarship assistance;
  • Home Development Mutual Fund -- Pag-IBIG membership
  • Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) -- Membership and updating;
  • Social Security System -- Registration and membership, response to queries on loans and benefit claims;
  • Philippine Statistics Authority -- Issuance of live birth, marriage, death, and no marriage certificates;
  • National Bureau of Investigation -- Issuance of NBI clearance;
  • Commission on Higher Education -- verification and authentication of school credentials;
  • Bureau of Immigration -- Departure clearance;
  • Philippine National Police -- issuance of Police Clearance;
  • Bureau of Internal Revenue -- response to queries; and
  • Department of Labor and Employment – overall coordinator.

OFW Minda Saddung an OFW returnee from Lebanon and a resident of Nagasican, Santigao City who is applying for OWWA assistance said that “It is a big help to us, specialy me, who just undergone medical operation not to travel longer to Tuguegarao City to avail Government Services”.

All regional directors and representatives of participating OSSCO agencies signed the Memorandum of Undertaking, in which they are all required to make available to OFWs the needed information as to the agency's programs and services and respond to their queries, and to also eliminate unnecessary and duplicative documents for overseas deployment.

OWWA-RWO2 Staff headed by OIC-Regional Director Pilipina C. Dino participated the OSSCO launching.

Representing OWWA Administrator Hanz Leo J. Cacdac is the OWWA Deputy Administrator Josefino I. Torres together with ROCS Director II Mr. Benny I. Reyes.

Blessings of OSSCO Building

Present at the cutting of the ceremonial ribbon to open the Santiago City OSSCO are POEA Administrator, Atty. Bernard P. Olalia, Deputy Administrator of OWWA Josefino I. Torres, Santiago City Mayor, Engr. Joseph S. Tan, and OIC-Regional Director of the DOLE RO2 Atty. Sarah Buena S. Mirasol

Ceremonial Balloon Releasing of the different heads of OSSCO participating government agencies.

From (L-R) DOLE RO2 Regional Director Atty. Sarah Buena S. Mirasol , Santiago City Mayor, Engr. Joseph S. Tan, OWWA Deputy Administrator Josefino I. Torres, and POEA Administrator, Atty. Bernard P. Olalia giving their messages.

During the Press Conference at Santiago City OSSCO

OWWA Staff assisted OFW Minda Saddul from Brgy. Nagasican Santiago City who is the first client applying for OWWA Medical Assistance.

The center, which will be open from 8 am to 5 pm from Mondays to Fridays, will not only cater to OFWs from the city and the province of Isabela but also those from Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya.


Government Efforts to Bring our OFWs Home

In full support to implement the order of President Duterte to bring home the temporary migrant Filipino workers, the Departments of Foreign Affairs and Labor and Employment aligned forces and resources to bring home today an additional Six Hundred Ten (610) Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who availed of the Amnesty Program in Kuwait boarding two Filipino-owned airlines.

Philippine Airlines PR 669 is flying in 180 OFWs by 6:40 a.m. (NAIA Terminal 1) while a chartered Cebu Pacific flight 5j 021 is bringing home 430 OFW (NAIA Terminal 3).

The OFWs will be ushered by OWWA to the Philippine Training and Trade Center (PTTC) in Pasay City which will serve as a temporary for homebound workers including board and accomodation until their onward travel back home to their respective homes. Additional livelihood asistance can be abailed by the OFWs in the OWWA Regional Welfare Offices.

The total number of OFWs from Kuwait sent home since the Amnesty Program started in January 29, 2018 is 2,286. This is almost a quarter of the targered 10,000 Filipinos overstaying in Kuwait.


Presidential Salubong 2017 at Clark International Airport #OWWAcares



National Winners:

2017 MOFYA Winner for Land-based Category - Leo R. De Velez and Family (NCR)
2017 MOFYA Winner for Sea-based Category - Noe C. Diola and Family (Region XII)



Special Awards:

Outstanding Achievement in Entrepreneurship - Gerry T. Paglinawan and Family (Region VII)

Outstanding Achievement in Community Projects - Emerico B. Gepilano and Family (Region VII)


Natatanging Parangal ng Kalihim ng Paggawa:
Marcela E. Valdez and Family (Region II)

Radiya B. Mustapa and Family (Region XI)

Evelyn L. Camendan and Family (Region XII)

Mabuhay ang pamilyang OFW!

OWWA and ATIKHA Overseas Workers and Communities Initiative, Inc. forged a MOA on the joint implementation of programs, projects, and services for the promotion of savings, investments, and entrepreneurship among OFWs and/or their families

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and ATIKHA Overseas Workers and Communities Initiative, Inc. forged a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on the joint implementation of programs, projects, and services for the promotion of savings, investments, and entrepreneurship among OFWs and/or their families.


The MOA was signed today, 10 August 2017, by OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac and ATIKHA Executive Director Estrella Dizon-Añonuevo at the OWWA Center Building, Pasay City.


The signing of the MOA was witnessed by Director Albert Q. Valenciano and Director Jeffrey D. Cortazar of OWWA and Ms. Aileen Constantino- Peñas of ATIKHA.


This collaboration aims to intensify the Reintegration Program for OFWs through maximizing the financial, human, and social capitals of the migrant workers for the benefit of their families and their communities.


The MOA specifically aims to encourage OFWs to invest and/or engage in entrepreneurship, increase the OFWs and their families’ productivity through improving their skills and competencies, develop pilot community based reintegration program, and assist in creating an enabling environment for the reintegration of OFWs.

Signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (L-R: Director Jeffrey D. Cortazar, Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac, Ms. Estrella Dizon- Añonuevo, Director Albert Q. Valenciano, Ms. Aileen Constantino- Peñas)


Ms. Diana Herrera, an OFW who sustained accident-related injuries while working in Riyadh, KSA, received her OWWA Disability Benefit from Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac today, 28 July 2017.

Ms. Diana Herrera, an OFW who sustained accident-related injuries while working in Riyadh, KSA, received her OWWA Disability Benefit from Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac today, 28 July 2017.




OWWA Transforms "Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay! Livelihood Program"

To make its programs and services more responsive and tangible to its member overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Board of Trustees (BOT), chaired by Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello lll approved the enhancement of the livelihood program of the agency dubbed as “Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay! (BPBH).


From the livelihood package/assistance provided to its target beneficiaries which is a non-cash support via free entrepreneurial training and provision of a ‘starter kit’ to roll-out the OFW’s business, the BPBH has been transformed into a package of assistance consisting of Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20,000.00), including entrepreneurship development training to jumpstart the returning OFWs’ business ventures.


Aside from these services, OWWA offers additional assistance to its member-beneficiaries by referring potential marketing linkages, and partnering with other government institutions such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Department of Agriculture (DA), among others, help OFWs learn the ropes in technical aspects as well as techniques in marketing strategies to sustain the livelihood project.


“The essence of BPBH is to teach OFWs to be their ‘own bosses’ hence teach them the value of “self-reliance”, and, eventually, “self-esteem”. Since the businesses will be their own, they should be able to sustain the ‘interest’ to make it as their means of livelihood thus making the most out of the revolving capital. Hopefully, they are able to change their own transformation from being OFWs, into entrepreneurs,” OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac said.


Target beneficiaries of the Program are returning OWWA members, active or non-active who were displaced by hostilities or wars/political conflicts, policy reforsm or changes by host governments; victims of illegal recruitment or human trafficking or other distressful situations; Distressed wards at the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Resource Centers who are due for repatriation; and OWWA-members who were employed by foreign employers which are beset with financial difficulties due to economic conditions such as the construction and maintenance companies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


For additional details and documentary requirements, qualified members are advised to apply to any OWWA Regional Office nearest their residence, or log on to OWWA website at, or contact numbers 8917601 up to 24, local 5217; or contact OWWA OPCEN thru telephone numbers 833-6992 or mobile number/SMS 09175908654.