MANILA - ABS-CBN's global television network The Filipino Channel (TFC) on Monday renewed its partnership with the OWWA to further protect the welfare of OFWs and their families.
The partnership, which started in 2013, focuses on the Pre-Departure Registration and Orientation Seminars (PDOS), which orients OFWs with the skills relevant to their occupation abroad.
TFC Managing Director Ailene Averion said that she is proud to renew ties with OWWA and excited for the future projects that they will implement together.
"TFC's goal is to keep our Kapamilyas abroad continuously connected with their loved ones here in the Philippines," she said. "We, in TFC, make sure that we will assist in realizing the agency's vision. It is, after all, our common goal that brought us here together."
OWWA Administrator Calzado after an interview with ABS-CBNnews.com
Meanwhile, OWWA administrator Rebecca Calzado said that they want to explore different communication media through TFC.
"In this age of technology, communication has never been that fast and modernized. And more and more OFWs are getting technology savvy and we want to keep up to their needs," she said. "With TFC, we are exploring more communication platforms to reach more OFWs."
She also added that this public-private partnership will further promote and protect the welfare of overseas Filipinos, especially with ABS-CBN's mission, which is to serve the Filipinos worldwide.
In an interview with ABS-CBNnews.com, Calzado said OWWA decided to renew the partnership with TFC because of the big success of PDOS.
"Ito ay isang renewal, so nakita namin kung ano ang naging tulong ng TFC doon sa Pre Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS)," she said. "Ngayon natutuwa kami, kasi hindi na lang natin ililimita itong partnership doon sa bago umalis ang OFW, kundi habang nandoon siya at pati na rin sa pagbalik niya."
According to Calzado, they will provide stage-by-stage assistance to Filipinos who want to work or migrate in another country. She also emphasized how TFC's programs helped OFW in getting news updates from their homeland.
"Siyempre 'yong TFC, popular 'yan sa ating mga OFW sa ibang bansa. So 'yong mga balita pati na 'yong mga programa ng TFC na OFW-oriented, 'yon ang mga naging projects sa ilalim ng agreement na ito," she said. "It's about maintaining communication lines open and maximizing them via the TFC. With TFC, we are now able to reach out to the OFWs and their families."
ABS-CBN Integrated News and Current Affairs head Ging Reyes (middle) together with officers from OWWA and TFC
ABS-CBN Integrated News and Current Affairs head Ging Reyes, who worked as news bureau chief in North America for eight years, shared her experience as a Filipino working in a foreign land.
"I started my work as a bureau chief all by my self. I also felt the homesickness, the loneliness of an OFW. So, I can related to the plight of the OFs and the OFWs because I experienced being away from the country, remitting to my children back home, filling up balikbayan boxes to send home," she recalled.
Reyes likened TFC to a bridge that connects OFWs to their homeland.
"TFC became a connection to the homeland for many Filipinos abroad. I would be very surprised when I visit the home of a Filipino Veteran or a worker, and they would be very familiar with ABS-CBN through The Filipino Channel. Many of them would turn off their television sets and tune in to TFC." she recalled. "Ang sabi nila, kapag nanunuood sila ng TFC, nababawasan 'yong lungkot nila."
Reyes added that TFC helps in calming down OFWs in times when calamities and crises hit the Philippines.
"We give them information. And at the same time, we give them entertainment programs that help them ease the pain of being away from their families, from their towns, and the country," she said.
"Sa puso ng bawat tao ay nakaukit ang sinilangang bayan.No matter where you're from, if you leave your home country and go to another country to settle down and make a living, you would always feel that longing to be back home, that's what TFC provides."
With this renewed partnership, TFC and OWWA aim for a stronger tie-up in ensuring the welfare of Filipinos abroad and their families.
The partnership was sealed by a music video entitled "Abot Kamay." Performed by "Your Face Sounds Familiar" grand finalist KZ Tandingan, the song was written and composed by renowned composer Vehnee Saturno.
(L-R) RFO Lawrence Reyes, Global CRM Head Allie Dela Cruz, TFC Managing Director Ailene Averion, OWWA Administrator Rebecca Calzado, Director Carmelina Velasquez, and Director Albert Valenciano