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RWO VIII
OWWA SIGNS MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT SUPPORTING THE CONVERGENCE ON ILLEGAL RECRUUITMENT-FREE LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNIT CAMPAIGN

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration together with the Department of Labor and Employment -Region VIII, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority-Region VIII, and the Local Government Unit of Leyte signed a Memorandum of Agreement supporting the Convergence on Illegal Recruitment-Free Local Government Unit Campaign.

 

The MOA signing aimed to alleviate recruitment malpractices such as illegal recruitment and trafficking in person and to enhance the empowerment and protection of the public and migrant workers.

 

The signing was held at the Municipal Hall, Poblacion, Leyte last March 6, 2017. Present during the signing were Atty. Brigido Dulay, OWWA Deputy Administrator, Director Elias A. Cayanong, DOLE-RO8 Regional Director, Atty. Arleen S. Basas, Director IV, POEA, Director Cleta M. Omega, TESDA-RO8 Regional Director, Hon. Arnold James M. Ysidoro, Leyte Municipal Mayor and Hon. Evelyn V. Cabardo – Chairperson/Coordinator on Social Services-Leyte.

DA Dulay with the staff of OWWA RWO 8

After the signing of the MOA, an Overview of the Anti-Illegal Recruitment Campaign and Understanding of Overseas Employment program was deliberated to the participants and present officials. Laws on illegal Recruitment, Modus Operandi of Illegal Recruitment, POEA’s Legal Remedies and Services for Migrant Workers and Effective Implementation of The PEOS were among the discussed topic to heighten awareness on overseas employment and lessen the vulnerability of the public, migrant workers and their family members.

 

Further, Deputy Administrator Brigido Dulay also made his visit to the region, an opportunity to have a short dialogue with the different OFC Officers from the city of Tacloban and have a consultative discussion with OWWA RWO 8 staff.

DA Dulay pose for the camera after his consultative meeting with the OFC officers.

During the short meeting, the OFC officers discussed with DA Dulay the concerns and problems their organizations are facing, one of which is the lack of sustainable livelihood programs that could help their organizations grow. With these, DA Dulay suggested to the officers and the OWWA RWO 8 staff to conduct a feasibility study for a livelihood program which will be implemented to all organizations in the region.

 

OWWA and its partner agencies are continuously st1riving to uplift the welfare of the migrant workers, their families and the community where they belong.


DA Dulay (right) during the signing of MOA with (left to right) Director Cleta M. Omega, TESDA-RO8 Regional Director, Hon. Evelyn V. Cabardo – Chairperson/Coordinator on Social Services-Leyte, Director Elias Cayanong, Regional Director DOLE RO8, Hon. Arnold James M. Ysidoro, Leyte Municipal Mayor and Atty. Arleen S. Basas, Director IV, POEA)

 

RWO ARMM
OWWA-ARMM holds Symposium on Role of Women in Nation-building

COTABATO CITY – Sixty three (63) Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their dependents, OWWA IT students, and members of OFW Family Circles from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) actively participated in the Symposium on the Role of Women in Nation-building organized by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA-ARMM) on March 23, 2017 at Queen Bee, Mall of Alnor Annex 1, Sinsuat Avenue, Cotabato City.

The activity is under the Gender and Development (GAD) advocacies of the agency and in line with the 2017 National Women’s Month celebration with the theme: "We Make Change, Work for Women”.

OWWA-ARMM Regional Director Amy B. Crisostomo said that the purpose of the event is to raise awareness on the roles of women in nation-building and to recognize that women are effective agents of development.

The event was graced with six (6) empowering and inspiring women – Ms. Noraida S. Chio, Ms. Noraisa G. Nul, Ms. Milrose M. Maulana, Ms. Sittie Jehanne U. Mutin, Ms. Myrna Y. Padilla and Ms. Samira A. Gutoc-Tomawis.

Ms. Noraida S. Chio, Senior Program Officer of The Asia Foundation (TAF) challenged all the women to help in explaining, obtaining and achieving women’s rights.

 

“If we women are fully empowered, we become change agents in our family, community and country,” she said.

 

Ms. Noraisa G. Nul, owner of the Mall of Alnor – the biggest and is the first Bangsamoro Mall in Cotabato City, shared her experience as a successful entrepreneur.

“Narating ko kung ano man ang meron ako ngayon hindi dahil magaling ako magsalita kung hindi dahil masikap lang talaga ako. Kung kaya ko, kaya rin ninyo,” she said.

 

Ms. Milrose M. Maulana, Model OFW Family of the Year Award (MOFYA) 2013 National Winner, Bai LabisaLakungan of Mamasapano, Maguindanao inspired the participants to never give up on their aspirations and dreams.

Ms. Sittie Jehanne U. Mutin, Chairperson of the Regional Commission on Bangsamoro Women (RCBW-ARMM) urged to accelerate the participation of Moro women in peace building, economic empowerment and in enhancing gender development intervention for good governance in the region. She said that the RCBW, being the principal women development agency of the ARMM, has initiated programs designed to empower and develop women’s rights and welfare.

“The projection is to develop a significant mass of Bangsamoro women leaders who will lead and be part of the change in governance and peace building,” she added.

 

Ms. Myrna Y. Padilla, founder and CEO of Mynd Dynamic Team, Inc., a Davao-based social network management software provider, shared her success story.

 

In the 20 years that she worked as a domestic helper in Singapore, Taiwan, and Hongkong, she has heard stories from her fellow overseas workers about the abuses they experienced under their respective employers.

Thus, the company developed the OFW Watch Android Mobile Applications service, a tool for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) to help each other. OFW Watch was created as a promise to help the “brothers and sisters” that Padilla “left behind.”

 

“Becoming an OFW was not heroic, it was a tragic necessity, but when I became a job creator… that was heroic. My proof of saying this is that BPO Industry is projecting 1.3 million new jobs in 2016.

What do 1.3 million jobs really mean? This means 1.3 million mothers, fathers, sons or daughters will now stay at home in the Philippines. This means millions upon millions of Filipino children will have a father at home to offer a guiding hand. This means millions upon millions of Filipino children whose mother will be there to kiss the hurt and show them they are deeply loved. That is the real success!” she said.

 

“We are here today to celebrate the Women’s Month. What is the role of women in nation-building? The answer is to be fearless! Fear is a dream killer. We women should dream big because when we succeed we become a part of something bigger than ourselves. You are transforming a nation and giving all our people hope,” she added.

Ms. Samira A. Gutoc-Tomawis, Commissioner of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), noted as one of 500 Most Influential Muslims (The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre, Jordan), has worked with an array of stakeholders for the past 17 years as a journalist, manager, consultant, environmentalist, trainer, activist, organizer and now a legislator, talked about Gender Equality, Magna Carta of Women, and her advocacy in nation-building.

Tomawis, who leads the Transform Progressive Marawi Movement, underscored the efforts of the members in informing the city residents and the LGU the importance of disposing garbage. She introduced solid waste management (SWM) and the income that could be generated from wastes.

 

She outlined the movement’s solving the garbage problem through massive information-education campaign; adoption of new environmentally compliant technologies; formulation of additional management schemes, such as the disposal of household hazardous wastes; and integrating SWM laws and policies with environmental laws through the formulation of the environment code.


OWWA-ARMM Regional Director Amy B. Crisostomo with the Guest Speakers of the Symposium of Women’s Role in Nation-building on March 23, 2017 at Queen Bee, Mall of Alnor, Cotabato City.
(1st photo from L-R) Milrose M. Maulana, Noraisa G. Nul, Amy B. Crisostomo and Myrna Y. Padilla
(2nd photo from L-R) Samira A. Gutoc-Tomawis, Noraisa G. Nul, Myrna Y. Padilla and Nul, Amy B. Crisostomo

 

RWO VIII

To strengthen the relation between the agency and the OFWs and their beneficiaries in the region and to uphold existing programs and services of the agency, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration - Regional Welfare Office VIII conducted an Information Caravan on Membership Promotion cum Organizing Activity at Libagon, Southern Leyte last February 24, 2017.

 

The activity was attended by 30 OFWs and beneficiaries coming from the different barangays of the municipality of Libagon.

 

Family Welfare Officer, Rodah A. Cerna discussed the different programs and services that can be availed by active and non-active members of OWWA. She also shared the importance of being an OWWA member and how beneficial it is to the OFWs as well as to their beneficiaries.

 

After the discussion, an open forum was facilitated by Miss Cerna. Participants were thankful that their queries about OWWA’s program has already been answered and clarified. It was also raised during the open forum that the members of the association are hopeful that OWWA would offer a non-collateral loan program.

 

The participants were looking forward to avail the scholarship programs such as OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (ODSP), Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP) and Skills for Employment Scholarship Program (SESP).

 

Aside from the scholarship programs, the newly organized association, Libagon OFWs and Beneficiaries Association (LOBA), is also planning to enrol in the free I.T. Training that the agency also offers to qualified OFWs and beneficiaries.

 

Future activities of LOBA includes the conduct of Financial Literacy Seminar and Values Re-orientation Seminar this April 2017.

Miss Rodah A. Cerna (seated, first to the right) with the Libagon OFWs and Beneficiaries Association happily posing for the camera after the successful organizing and info caravan on membership promotion
One participant sharing her thoughts to other participants during the open forum

 

RWO VI

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office (OWWA RWO) VI recently joined the 31st National Migrants’ Sunday (NMS) at the Sta. Teresita Parish Church, Iloilo City last March 5, 2017.

 

Carrying the theme, “Children and Women Migrants, Vulnerable and Voiceless”, the said event saw about four-hundred thirty-eight (438) attendees from various OFW Family Circles (OFC) groups, Local Government Units (LGUs), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and civic- and faith-based organizations come together to recognize and commemorate the OFWs and their families.

 

Iloilo City hosted this year’s NMS for the first time since the said event’s existence.

Mr. Hans Leo Cacdac, Administrator, narrates his experiences of being the child of an OFW.

RWO VI

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office 6 held its first Program Orientation and Business Appreciation (POBA) last March 13, 2017 at the agency’s Iloilo City office.

 

About twenty-three (23) Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their beneficiaries attended the said activity.

 

The POBA is one of the prerequisites for the OFW – Enterprise Development Loan Program (EDLP), which is an enterprise development intervention and loan facility of OWWA made in partnership with Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines that is intended to support enterprise development among OFWs and their families.


Mr. James B. Mendiola, Officer-In-Charge (standing), prepares the participants for the POBA.

 

RWO I

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has recognized women overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who have left overseas work and dedicated themselves to become leaders in their home communities.

 

The recognition rites, held on March 8, 2017 at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City, was in celebration of the International Women's Day 2017 with the theme, "We make change work for women."

 

The "Parangal sa mga Natatatanging Kababaihan" recognized 17 women OFW leaders who were nominated by the 17 OWWA Regional Welfare Offices (RWOs) across the nation.

 

The awardee from Region 1 is Edna B. Valdez of La Union. She is the president of the Bannuar ti La Union, a non-government organization composed mostly of women OFW returnees and OFW dependents from the province.

 

Valdez leads the Bannuar ti La Union (Heroes of La Union) in community outreach drives on migrant’s rights and welfare education. One of the advocacies of the group is to mainstream labor migration in the socio-economic development initiatives at the local government units.

OFW woman leader from La Union Edna B. Valdez greets DOLE Sec. Silvestre H. Bello III and OWWA Admin. Hans Leo J. Cacdac during the recognition rites at the Philippine International Convention Center, Pasay City, on March 8, 2017, in celebration of the International Women’s Day.

Other awardees were: Myrna B. Garcia, Cordillera Region; Ernita S. Santos, National Capital Region; Jocelyn T. Danao, RWO II; Priscilla S. Cruz, RWO lll; Marilyn B. Ligot, RWOI IV-A; Edna R. Madrigal, RWO IV-B; Lolita D. Tadeo, RWO V; Alicia D. Refor, RWO VI; Marcelina C. Castillon, RWO VII; Ma. Melba l. Esquibel, RWO VIII; Bernadette D. Sedillo, RWO IX; Flor T. Victoriano, RWO X; Carmelita J. Ancheta, RWO XI; Precilla A. Panzo, RWO XII; and Tahanie Mohammad Dalmaob, Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.

 

The OWWA also recognized the woman member of the agency’s board of trustees, Hon. Estrella Mai D. Anonuevo, for her advocacies in advancing women power.

 

Department of Labor and Employment Sec. Silvestre H. Bello III and OWWA Admin. Hans Leo Cacdac handed over the plaques of recognition to the awardees.

 

“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,” said Bello.

Bannuar ti La Union President Edna B. Valdez and 16 other women OFW leaders across the country gather for the “Parangal sa mga Natatanging Kababaihan” recognition rites at the Philippine International Convention Center, Pasay City, on March 8, 2017, in celebration of the International Women’s Day.

 

National Capital Region

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration-National Capital Region (OWWA-NCR) conducted a follow through orientation and training for Instructors of the Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP) and Speakers of the Country Specific Pre-departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) on 21-22 January 2017 at the Estancia Resort Hotel in Tagaytay City as part of the continual improvement of OWWA’s Programs and Services.

 

The objective of the training is to calibrate the knowledge and skills of the Instructors/Resource Speakers to improve the method of teaching and to update the existing modules in basic international languages to attune to the current requirements of the global labor market.

The participants together with OWWA-NCR Director Emma Sinclair, PSD Chief Ma. Teresa Capa, Policy and Program Development Office Director Albert Q. Valenciano and Mr. Mario Antonio.

PPO Director Albert Q. Valenciano welcomed the 46 participants to the training and reminded them of their roles as the Instructors/Resource Speakers who should guide the OFWs. According to him, the instructors and resource speakers should know what are the things that they need to impart to the OFWs and apply the effective method of teaching that they should use to make sure that the OFWs understand the importance of PDOS and CPDEP.

 

On the otherhand, Ms. Ma. Teresa B. Capa, Chief of the Program Services Division, gave an overview of the program and the importance of the training to the Instructors and Speakers in imparting their knowledge to the OFWs, particularly to the Household Service Workers (HSW) who are most vulnerable to contract violations and abuses at job sites.

From L to R: The participants presenting their lesson plan per language, the participants playing Pinoy Henyo, OWWA-NCR Director Emma V. Sinclair delivering her closing remarks.

During the training, the participants were grouped together by the language they teach and were tasked to share their best practices in teaching their subject matters and how to use the standard lesson plan/teaching guide. The following day, the participants shared the improvements in their lesson plans as well as their personal reflections on the training. To cap off the training, OWWA-NCR Director Emma V. Sinclair gave the closing remarks by reminding them that “Ang main goal ng training seminar na ito ay para matulungan kayo to improve your teaching skills and to impart your knowledge effectively to departing Household Service Workers.”

 

According to one of the participants, the training helped refresh his knowledge about CPDEP and PDOS and that he learned something new about the programs.

 

The Country Specific Pre-departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) and Comprehensive Pre-Departure received Education Program (CPDEP) are a mandatory orientation/training given to all departing Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in order to prepare them for work overseas.

From L to R: Director Albert Q. Valenciano of Plans and Programs Office (PPO) delivers his welcome remarks for the participants of the training seminar; Ma. Teresa Capa, Chief of the Program Services Division of RWO-NCR, discussing the importance of CPDEP and PDOS to the participants of the Training Seminar; and Ms. Paz Ressureccion ”Surie” M. Alip, the resource speaker, facilitating the training seminar.

 

National Capital Region

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office - National Capital Region (OWWA RWO-NCR) conducted an Annual Consultation Meeting with Partner Training Centers to further improve the implementation of the Seafarer’s Upgrading Program (SUP) and Skills for Employment Scholarship Program (SESP) at the OWWA Multi-Purpose Hall on 3 March 2017.

 

The Seafarer’s Upgrade Program (SUP) is a training assistance to Filipino Seafarers with OWWA assuming the training costs in maritime training centers. The program intends to provide job-related training in upgrading the knowledge, skills and develop expertise among Filipino seafarers in accordance with technological advancements and global maritime standards.

ETU Head Vivian Velez orients Partner Training Centers on SUP and SESP.

On the other hand, the Skills for Employment Scholarship Program (SESP) aims to provide technical-vocational training to qualified active OWWA members and their dependents. It is in the form of a training assistance with OWWA assuming the training cost in vocational/technical courses accredited by Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

 

The discussion focused on the frequently encountered administrative problems such as billing and referral of OFW-applicants. These problems were tackled to further speed up the process in the availement of the programs and to further improve the services.

 

“Unang una, maraming salamat sa pagpunta. Kayo ay tinatawag namin na partner training center dahil kayo ay partner namin sa pagpapatupad ng aming programa. Ibig sabihin meron tayong shared responsibility na ipatupad itong programa ng maayos dahil pinoprotektahan natin ang integrity ng programa at tumutulong tayo sa mga OFW. Sana maging smooth ang ating pagiimplement ng programa at patuloy din ang suporta ninyo dito,” Ms. Capa said.

 

Ms. Vivian Velez concluded the meeting by saying, “We hope for a better relationship with you, since you are our partner training centers, so we could improve the programs and serve OFWs and their dependents better.

32 Representatives of Partner Training Centers for SUP attended the consultation meeting; Vivian Velez, Head of ETU, discussing the procedures in processing the payment of tuition fees of OWWA members; and Ma. Teresa Capa, Chief Program and Services Division, giving some reminders on their responsibilities as OWWA’s Partner Training Centers.
50 Representatives of Partner Training Centers for SESP attended the consultation meeting; Vivian Velez, Head of ETU, discussing issues and concerns in the implementation of the training programs; and Ma. Teresa Capa, Chief Program and Services Division, delivering the closing remarks.

 

National Capital Region
EDLP Applicants Attend Immersion in Viable Business Enterprises

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office– National Capital Region (OWWA RWO-NCR) conducted the 2nd Phase or the Immersion Phase of the OFW Enterprise Development and Loan Program (EDLP) for the OFW-applicants who want to start a laundry shop or retail business in detergents or household cleaning materials to help them gain knowledge and hands-on on how to manage businesses they intend to establish.

 

The EDLP is an enterprise development interventions and loan facility of OWWA in partnership with LBP and DBP which aims to help the OFWs and their families create a viable business enterprise that will provide them with a steady income stream and to create employment opportunities in their community. The program has 3 phases namely: the Program Orientation and Business Appreciation, Project-Specific/Visit to Demo Farms/Immersion and the Business Plan Writing Seminar. The applicants must attend all these phases to be able to fully understand the program.

 

On 21 February 2017, 12 OFW-applicants visited the BSC Training Institute as part of their immersion in running a laundry shop. While the visit for retail business for laundry detergents and household cleaning materials at the Oxychem Corporation in Boni Ave, Mandaluyong City was held on 24 February 2017.

 

During the visits, the speakers for each business thoroughly discussed the startup requirements for the preferred type of business as well as tips and strategies to make their business successful. The OFW-applicants were toured at the business site and were able to identify and be familiarized on the materials/supplies needed for the OFW laundry shop business. The participants were also taught on how to use the materials properly and the basics of running the business.

 

Mr. Zandro Almendrala, Head of the Reintegration Unit of OWWA-NCR, reminded the participants that “Ang pag gawa ng business plan ay parang pagpapatayo ng bahay, ikaw ang magdedesisyon pero merong ibang pwedeng gumawa para sa’yo. Maaring hindi niyo expertise ang pag gawa ng business plan kaya pwede tayo magpatulong sa iba pero at the end of the day dapat alam niyo lahat tungkol sa negosyo niyo dahil kayo ang maglalagay ng backbone sa plano niyo.”

From L to R: Mr. Mark Daniel Martin informing the applicants on starting a laundry business; The participants being taught on how to fold clean clothes and how to prepare it for pick up; Mr. Zandro Almendrala, Head of the Reintegration Unit, giving the closing remarks.
From L to R: Ms Marita M. Relampagos, Small & Medium Enterprises Business Unit Head of Oxychem Corporation giving a talk about their products; the participants visiting the store of Power Clean Chemicals, and Mr. Zandro Almendrala, Head of the Reintegration Unit of OWWA-NCR, giving his closing remarks.
From L to R: 1) The participants of the EDLP phase 2 for laundry business with the representatives from OWWA-NCR Reintegration Unit and Mr. Mark Daniel Martin (rightmost in gray); 2) The participants of the EDLP phase 2 for retail business with the representatives from OWWA-NCR Reintegration Unit and (Leftmost) Ms. Marita M. Relampagos, Small & Medium Enterprises Business Unit Head of Oxychem Corporation.

 

National Capital Region
Former MMG Workers Attend Phase 1 of EDLP

About 138 former Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) employed by Mohammad Al Mojil Group (MMG) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) attended a special Program Orientation on Enterprise Development and Loan Program (EDLP) at the OWWA Multi-Purpose Hall on 09 March 2017. The special program orientation was conducted by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office – National Capital Region (OWWA RWO-NCR).

 

The OFW Enterprise Development and Loan Program (EDLP) is an enterprise development interventions and loan facility of OWWA in partnership with LBP and DBP. The goal of the program is to help the OFWs and their families create a viable business enterprise that will provide them with a steady income stream and to create employment opportunities in their community. The first phase of the program is the Program Orientation and Business Appreciation, the second phase is the Visit/Immersion at existing business enterprises and the third phase is the Business Plan Writing Seminar. The applicants must undergo the three (3) phases to fully understand the program and to prepare and teach them on how to start or expand their business.

From top L to R: Head of Reintegration Unit Zandro Alemendrala delivering the background of the EDLP and PSD Chief Ma. Teresa Capa together with Mr. Joshua Agner, Ms. Shirley Alisangco and Mr. Ronaldo Robles, representatives from LBP, answering questions from participants. From bottom L to R: PSD Chief Ma. Teresa Capa giving her closing remarks and Engineer Joey Borja expressing the sentiments of former MMG workers.

Ma. Teresa Capa, Chief Program Services Division, oriented on the salient points of the program while Mr. Zandro Almendrala, Head of Reintegration Unit, discussed the EDLP. Also present were Mr. Joshua Agner, Ms. Shirley Alisangco and Mr. Ronaldo Robles, Account Officers from Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), to answer the questions on the loan facilities.

 

Mr. Almendrala reminded the attendees that “Ang pagtatayo ng negosyo ay dapat pinaghahandaan at inaaral ng maigi. Ang negosyong inyong iniisip ay dapat viable business project.” He also reminded them about being committed to their business, “Lahat din ng business ay dumadaan sa ups and downs. Wala namang negosyong di nalulugi. Failures are avenues for new learnings.” After the orientation, certificates were handed out to the attendees for attending the Program Orientation for EDLP.

 

On the other hand, Engineer Joey Borja, who arranged and coordinated with OWWA-NCR the conduct of the special orientation, expressed the sentiments of MMG workers that OWWA considers creating a new package of livelihood program that would address their financial difficulties after repatriation from KSA.

 

Ms. Capa ended the meeting by saying “Sana sa pamamagitan nitong orientation ay naging bukas ang inyong pagiisip sa pagnenegosyo. Andito kami para ihanda kayo sa pagtatayo ng negosyo. Hindi ito madali at ito ay may kaakibat na pagbabago sa inyong buhay. Sana I consider ninyo ang long term effect nito kung kayo ay magtatayo ng business.”

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