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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.


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.

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.

Christmas Greetings

Maligayang Pasko sa lahat ng OFWs saan mang panig ng mundo










VAWC Free PH Campaign A

VAWC Free PH Campaign









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.

Advisory on OWWA Cash Assistance for OFWs affected by Super Typhoon Lawin

Advisory on OWWA Cash Assistance for OFWs affected by Super Typhoon Lawin









OWWA Officer-in-Charge Carmelina F. Velasquez said that starting today,   


Friday, 28 October 2016, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) will be accepting application on the agency’s Financial Assistance to affected OWWA Member-OFW Families in areas hardest hit by typhoon ‘Lawin’.


Claimants for the said one-time monetary aid are OWWA members/and their families in the  areas devastated by typhoon Signal number  5, as declared by  the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), namely: CAGAYAN, ISABELA, KALINGA, APAYAO, NORTHERN ABRA , and ILOCOS NORTE


Entitled  to  receive the  financial assistance  are the following:    

Active OWWA members per member/family     P3,000.00 

Non-active  OWWA member/family                   P1,500.00


OFWs qualified to the said  aid   are advised to immediately  get in touch with the following OWWA Regional Welfare Offices (RWOs)  for the requirements/details:

RWO 1                                     -                        09088634250/09276207300

RWO 11                                    -                       09189653746/09175047915

RWO CAR                                -                        09999949296/09175001294


A big group of distressed OFWs stranded in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia returned to the Philippines today, Tuesday, 25 October 2016 at 1:30 in the afternoon, onboard Saudia Airlines flight SV 872.  


OWWA Officer-in-Charge Carmelina F. Velasquez, along with other government officials, welcomed the repatriated OFWs. Likewise, the government representatives oriented the distressed OFWs on the programs and services  available to them. Upon assumption to office in August, President Rodrigo R. Duterte issued a marching order to immediately heed the call for help of the OFWs. Thus, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello lll went to an official mission in Riyadh and created a composite team that was dispatched to Saudi Arabia in order to assess the condition of the Filipino migrant workers, ascertain their needs, craft mechanisms to address these needs, including the OFWs’ option for repatriation.


As part of the government’s commitment to bring home the OFWs, a total of 2,031 OFWs have so far returned to the country. The figure covers the period from July 2016 to October 24, 2016.  


Meanwhile, as of 21 October 2016, OWWA has extended Relief Assistance Program (RAP) to 18,255 stranded OFWs disbursing a total of P400,804,031.06. These  OFWs include those who are still at worksites in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, and those who had been repatriated. In relation to this, RAP was also provided to 10,846 families with a total sum of P68,516,000.00. Total cost for the financial aid from the last week of July 2016 up to 21 October 2016 was placed at a total of P469,320,031.06.


The OWWA Augmentation Team sent to KSA assisted in the processing of RAP applications, and distributed food and hygiene kits to 13,245 OFW availees which amounted to P2,310,295,82. Meanwhile, an Augmentation Team comprising of OWWA personnel will be sent to Saudi Arabia today as the previous team has already reported back.   


At the home front, post- repatriation service expenses covering land transportation, food and toiletries to OFWs accommodated at the OWWA Halfway Home reached a total of P1,541,553.95 which covers the period July 2016-October 21, 2016.


One hundred seventy-three (173) OFWs from Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, employed by Saudi Oger, one of the companies which suffered financial setback as a result of the dip in the price of oil in the world market, are set to return at 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon today, Monday, 17 October 2016, via Saudia Airlines flight SV 870.


Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello lll, will welcome the repatriated OFWs  and accord necessary assistance to them. Yesterday, Sunday, OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac led the agency personnel in extending assistance to 83 distressed OFWs, also from Saudi Oger.  


Aside from airport assistance, the OFWs will also be offered temporary stay at the OWWA Halfway Home, transportation fare onward to their respective provinces, stress debriefing, among others.


“The OWWA Repatriation and Assistance Division (RAD), as well as the OWWA 24/7 Operations Center are in full alert in anticipation of the Filipino migrant workers’ schedules of arrivals. Flight advisories are sent to OWWA via email or at times thru text messaging, after final arrangements with airlines and completion of travel documents for OFWs are undertaken by the Philippine Embassy, in coordination with the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO),” OWWA Administrator Cacdac explains.    


Aside from the post-arrival services, returning OFWs who have not yet availed of OWWA’s Relief Assistance Program (RAP) are given immediate attention to process their claim before they return to their provinces/residences.


Relief Assistance Program (RAP)


As of 14 October 2016, OWWA has extended Relief Assistance Program (RAP) to 18,156 stranded OFWs disbursing a total of P398,476,031.06. These OFWs include those who are still at worksites in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, and those who had been repatriated. In relation to this, RAP was also provided to 10,750 families with a total sum of P67,940,000.00. Total cost for the financial aid from the last week of July 2016 up to 14 October  2016 was placed at a total of P466,416,031.06.


The OWWA Augmentation Team sent to KSA assisted in the processing of RAP applications, and distributed food and hygiene kits to 13,245 OFW availees which amounted to P2,310,295,82.


At the home front, post repatriation service expenses covering land transportation, and food and toiletries to OFWs accommodated at the OWWA Halfway Home reached the total of P866,725.97.