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Ready for business - EDSP Scholar Graduates Cum Laude from UP Diliman

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office-RWO NCR was recently visited by Nina Rollen Piloton, one of OWWA’s scholars who graduated Cum Laude last June 26, 2016.


According to Niña, shifting to a college that produces a lot of honor graduates was definitely a wake up call for her to step up her game.


“At BA (Business Administration), there are a lot of laude (graduates). The competitive atmosphere really inspired me to maintain my grades,” she said.


Five years later, she was able to do more than just maintain her grades: Last June, she graduated Cum Laude from the Virata School of Business, University of the Philippines, Diliman, with a degree in Business Administration and Accountancy.


From Arki to BA


Niña entered the country’s premier state university as a freshman at the College of Architecture. “Architecture was my second choice. By my sophomore year, I decided to shift to the College of Business Administration for a few reasons.”


“One of our major subjects in high school was bookkeeping, which I really enjoyed at the time. I also thought it would be a practical choice because it would open a lot of doors to many industries. My mother was an accountant before, too,” she continued.


At her new college, Niña was able to join many organizations and socio-cultural activities that allowed her to improve her skills and expand her interests.


Academics and organizations


Niña was consistently active in the UP Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants (UP JPIA) where she served as the Vice President for External Affairs during her graduating year. Through this organization, she was able to partake in work for education as they partnered with schools for their socio-civic activities.


“Being a part of the Executive Committee of an organization who shared the same major as me meant having a circle that shared the same joys and frustrations in academics. This constant circle also helped me in developing discipline and time management as we worked together through our responsibilities inside and outside of our organization,” shared Niña.


It is with such a support group that she was able to join and win different competitions. She, along with a small team, clinched the 1st runner-up prize at a nationwide Valuation and Strategies Competition organized by the UP Junior Finance Association (UP JFA) and emerged as Champions at a university-wide marketing competition sponsored by Smart PH and the University Student Council.


Aside from these, she also took on minor roles at the Business Administration Council and for the Career Assistance Program in their college.




It’s no doubt that Niña’s university life was a colorful one, filled with academics, extra-curriculars and innumerable things in between. To the younger scholars, she offers sound advice: Don’t pass up opportunities.


“Learn outside the classroom. Join organizations and competitions. Although it can be hard, it will really widen your perspectives and make you a better person,” she said. “Sometimes, exams and activities happen in the same week and it is during these times that your endurance and drive will really be tested.”


As exemplified through her deeds and achievements, Niña encourages everyone to become well-rounded individuals who are not boxed inside stereotypes or comfort zones.


Looking forward


Her father, Ronald Piloton, a machinist in Singapore, constantly communicates with his family through social media. “During special occasions, he also strives to go home as often as he can,” Niña shares. This gives much relief to her mother, Marilyn Piloton, and two younger brothers.


She is very grateful for her scholarship and the relief it affords her family. “The monthly reports have become a sort of stress reliever for me.[Since it lets me share the things that’s been happening in my academic life]  . Financially, it also helps our family since I have two younger brothers studying in private colleges.”


“After my board exam on October, I plan on starting a career either in a bank or audit company. I want to start my own business after three years so I can give back to my family.”


For a hardworking and intelligent young woman like Niña, we know that success isn’t too far away.

(Niña during her graduation and with her parents, Ronald and Marilyn Piloton)

The Education for Development Scholarship (EDSP) program is a scholarship grant offered to qualified dependents of active OWWA members who intend to pursue a 4 to 5 year baccalaureate course in any preferred college or university.

National Capital Region
A Future Engineer on Giving Back: EDSP Scholar Graduates Cum Laude from UP Diliman

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office-RWO NCR was recently visited by Ar Filip Ilagan, one of OWWA’s scholars who graduated Cum Laude last June 26, 2016.


Like his father before him, Filip wanted to be a civil engineer, too.


“I was exposed to his line of work early on. Buildings and design fascinated me,” he shared. “It was during high school that I really decided to follow in my father’s footsteps.”


After more than five years, his dream is now within his grasp. Ar Filip Ilagan graduated Cum Laude    from the College of Engineering, University of the Philippines, Diliman with a degree in Civil Engineering last June 2016.


University life


When he first entered UP, Filip wasn’t confident that he’d graduate with honors. “I thought, this is UP. Expectations and standards are very high,” he said.


Eventually, he learned how to keep up with everybody’s pace. “I was an honor student in high school, so there was an expectation that I could do just as well in college. Besides, my parents are overjoyed when I get good grades so this is also one way for me to show my appreciation for them.”


Aside from academics, Filip also immersed himself in extra-curricular activities. He waited until his fourth year before deciding to join a student organization. “I realized I wanted to experience life within an org, too. The prospect of meeting more people and discovering new opportunities also prompted me to join my first organization,” he said.


He eventually joined two organizations. The first was UP Aggregates, an academic organization within his college for Civil Engineering majors. He was also introduced to UP Green League, Inc., a university-wide environmental organization, since he has wanted to join an environmental organization since high school.


“During the course of my study, I became interested in the field of Environmental Engineering: designing structures in a greener way. Hopefully, when I become a financially-stable professional in the future, I would also be able to contribute to this field,” he remarked.


EDSP scholarship


His father, Rodel C. Ilagan, a site engineer in South Africa, was the one who encouraged him to apply for the Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP), to which he is very grateful for.


“The scholarship significantly lessened our financial burdens, especially since my parents have two college students to provide for. This also allows us to help other relatives like my grandmother,” he said.


Aside from this, Filip also get to meet new friends and co-scholars during get-togethers and other events organized by OWWA-NCR.




A driven young man such as Filip is excited about the wisdom that he can share to other young people, especially his co-scholars.


“Study hard and well even if you fail.” Bouncing back after failure is one thing Filip has already taken to heart, after failing and acing a major subject in two consecutive semesters.


“Whenever you feel unmotivated or uninspired, remember your parents, your goals, and all the reasons why they started doing what they’re doing in the first place. It has worked for me: going back to the start to find the strength to keep going…Most probably, you’re studying hard not just for yourself but for the people around you. If looking inward doesn’t help, then try to look outside of yourself,” he shared.   


Looking forward


Currently, he is focusing on reviewing for the board exam later this year. Afterwards, he plans on joining either the design or construction areas of engineering. He would also like to take up his Master’s degree after finding a stable job.


While his professional goals are admirable, more inspiring are the plans he has for his family.


“A business for my parents would be nice. I’m thinking of a restaurant with residential spaces on top for convenience. I’m also interested in putting up a resort farm, aside from a flower shop and furniture shop, all so I can provide a better and more comfortable life for my family. A Civil Engineering firm would also be a perfect fit for me and my father to work together here in the country,” he enthusiastically shares.


Filip has made it a priority to give back. May we all share his example.

(Filip during his family during the University Graduation and College Graduation.)

The Education for Development Scholarship (EDSP) program is a scholarship grant offered to qualified dependents of active OWWA members who intend to pursue a 4 to 5 year baccalaureate course in any preferred college or university.

OWWA Orients Newly-Formed OFW Association in Dagupan City

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office I (OWWA RWOI) has oriented on the agency’s programs and services the newly-formed associations of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and families in Dagupan City, to turn them into vital partners for the OFW welfare promotion and protection.


The OWWA has met with the officers of the Mangin OFW Family Circle (OFC) and the Bonuan Gueset OFC in a seminar on November 11, 2016 at the Edades Hall, Dagupan City.


The event was also attended in by the 31 barangay focal persons for the Dagupan City Public Employment Services Office (PESO), who also likewise serve as OFW affairs focal person in their respective communities.


Dagupan City Mayor Belen T. Fernandez expressed gratitude to the OFW families for coming together to promote the interest of OFWs in their community. Mayor Fernandez also reassured the strong partnership of the city government with the OWWA.


In Pangasinan, Dagupan City has the most number of OFWs who are registered members of OWWA. As of July 2016, there are 5,725 OWWA members in the city.

Dagupan City Mayor Belen T. Fernandez (rightmost) administers the oath of the officers of the newly-formed OFW Family Circles (OFCs) in the city, namely the Mangin OFC and the Bonuan Gueset OFC.


OWWA Provides Financial Assistance To The Family of John Earl

Davao City – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) provided  financial assistance of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) to the family of a 2-year old boy who died after allegedly being mauled by his guardians in Calinan, Davao City.


John Earl Cagalitan is the son of Erlinda Cagalitan, an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) in Bahrain. OFW Erlinda entrusted her son to her cousin and her cousin’s husband. According to report the boy was beaten to death after he urinated in his pants. The boy was immediately rushed to the hospital on November 13, 2016 but was declared dead on arrival. The child sustained injuries in different parts of his body.


Aside from the financial assistance, OWWA will also provide livelihood and training assistance to OFW Erlinda and psycho-social counseling to the family. The assistance is in line with the directives of DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III to provide necessary protection to the OFWs and their families.


The check was personally given by Deputy Administrator Josefino I. Torres on, November 21, 2016 at the OWWA Regional Welfare Office XI.


2016 OFW Family Day

KORONADAL CITY – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office XII conducts the 2016 OFW Family day in line with the celebration of the Sultan Kudarat's Kalimudan Festival held at the Provincial Capitol Gymnasium, Isulan, Sultan Kudarat last November 18, 2016 with the theme: “Ang diwa ng Pasko, Nasaan man, Nananatili sa Puso ng Bawat Pamilyang OFW”


This annual celebration is dedicated to our OFWs and is a way of recognizing the tireless efforts of our OFWs and their families. The said activity was participated by one hundred fourteen (114) OFW organizations with total number of one thousand three hundred (1,300) participants coming from the different areas of Region XII.


"Muli po ay inihahandog ng OWWA sa ating mga OFW kasama ng kanilang pamilya ang maagang pamasko, ang isang simple ngunit makahulugang OFW Family Day.  Hangad namin na kahit paano ay madama ninyo ang diwa ng pasko maging nandito man o nasaang bansa naroon ang inyong pamilya. Tayo ay mag saya at makiisa sa tunay na diwa ng kapaskohan”- OIC Marlyn E. Jamero said on her welcome address.


The said celebration was filled with fun and exciting activities.  Prizes and gifts were given to OFWs and their dependents from door prizes  up to the raffle draws of which they had the chance to  win any of the grand prizes;  a 16 cubic LG refrigerator, a Lenovo Laptop and 40” Sony Bravia – Flat screen internet TV.

Figure 1. OWWA Personnel giving out the door prizes. 

A variety show contest dubbed as “OFW Got Talent” was participated by selected OFW Family Circles all over the region depicting the various experiences, both happy and sad, of every Overseas Filipino Worker. The OFW Federation of Mlang bested the other seven participating OFCs and was declared as the OFW Got Talent Champion.

Figure 2. OFW Got Talent Champion from OFW Federation of Mlang

Christmas Tree Making and Trade Exhibit that aims to promote the significance of Mother Nature and showcase the products proudly made by OFCs and OFC members in the region are among the other activities.

OFC members from Kidapawan City and Magpet during the start of Christmas Tree making contest.
Figure 4. 1st prize winner Francisca Tabaolde with (left to right) OIC Marlyn E. Jamero, OWWO IV- Christelyn R. Caceres, Resident auditor Virginia Caraso and Public OFW Desk Officer Jonix Paniagua

Francisca Tabaolde, an OFC member of Tulunan OFW Cooperative, won the first prize, said “Taon-taon po naming inaabangan ang OFW Family Day na ginaganap sa iba’t-ibang panig ng rehiyon, hindi lamang para manalo ng mga papremyo at regalo kundi dahil nais naming maramdaman na kami, bilang mga OFW ay hindi nakakalimutan.  Taos puso po kaming nagpapasalamat.” The major prizes were sponsored by Provincial Government of Sultan Kudarat, headed by Provincial Governor, Hon. Sultan Pax S. Mangudadatu, Alhaj.


The OFW Family Day celebration is conducted annually as one of the institutional events of OWWA.

OWWA-RWO VI holds computer training workshop for Sigma OFC members

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office (OWWA RWO) VI recently held an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills training workshop to several OFW Family Circle members based in Sigma, Capiz.


Nineteen (19) attendees availed of the two-day activity at the Capiz State University last November 5 to 6, 2016.


The participants were taught the basic computer skills like desktop hardware familiarization, typing, and using common Microsoft Office programs and the Internet.


OWWA RWO VI’s ICT skills training is part of the Tulay-Aral program, a customizable module provided free for OFWs and their beneficiaries since 2008.



The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration-Regional Welfare Office (OWWA-RWO) VI recently held a Training on Values Formation, Financial Literacy & Savings Mobilization for several OFW Family Circle (OFC) members of New Washington, Aklan.


Twenty (20) participants attended the one-day activity at the barangay hall of Brgy. Tambak  last November 4, 2016.


Jade Love Omapas, Overseas Worker Welfare Officer (OWWO) I, taught participants on developing their values formation and savings mobilization skills, while Remon Albueza and Sherwin Madayag, Family Welfare Officers (FWOs), discussed tips on wise financial management.


OWWA IX distributes livelihood starter kits to OFWs in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay

NOVEMBER 15, ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office IX (OWWA RWO-IX) awards livelihood starter kits to 12 distressed Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) through the Balik Pinas, Balik Hanapbuhay Program on November 11, 2016 at Talisay Heights Grill & Resto, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay.    


Regional Director Hassan Gabra T. Jumdain and Family Welfare Officer Khalil Isser S. Lorena lead the activity. The OFWs received livelihood starter kits which include various cooking utensils and appliances for their livelihood such as putting up their carinderia, burger stand, and bakery.


The Balik Pinas, Balik Hanapbuhay Program is a reintegration program of OWWA for displaced/distressed workers. Recipients of the program are given livelihood starter kits and techno-skills training worth Php 10,000.


OWWA RWO-IX will also have other upcoming activities before the end of the year. One is the Capability Building Training/Convergence Meeting which will be held on December 02-03, 2016 at Lutong Pinoy Resort, Tugbungan, Zamboanga City. The said activity will be participated by the One-Stop Service Center for OFWs (OSSCO), OFW leaders, government agencies, and institutional partners.


Another upcoming activity is the OFW Family Day which will be celebrated on December 8, 2016 at Zamboanga City Coliseum, Tetuan, Zamboanga City. The OFW Family Day is the annual gathering of OFWs from Region 9 and their dependents. For this year, an estimate of 1,500 OFWs and families will be invited. Aside from fun games and exciting prizes, special awards will also be given to outstanding OFWs and dependents.

OWWA RWO-IX Regional Director Jumdain awarded the livelihood starter kits to distressed OFWs in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay
OFWs received their cooking utensils and appliances as livelihood starter kits
OWWA RWO-IX Regional Director Jumdain together with the recipients of the Balik Pinas, Balik Hanapbuhay Program


Organizational Assessment for Davao del Sur OFC Federation conducted

Davao del Sur – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration – Regional Welfare Office XI conducted an organizational assessment of the Davao del Sur OFC Federation last September 8, 2016 at the Asencia Function Hall, Digos City. A total of twenty-three (23) OFW Family Circle (OFC) Presidents attended the activity which was facilitated by OWWA-RWO XI Regional Director Eduardo E. Bellido and Mr. Cristelito T. Abadilla.


Davao del Sur OFC Federation is composed of forty-seven (47) active OFW Family Circles ably represented by each OFC President. They were federated last February 2015.


The assessment was conducted to determine the status of the organization after the strategic planning and VMG (vision, mission, goal) writeshop held last September 7-10, 2015. It also aims to enhance the association’s operational capabilities and structure in order to add member value and drive future success, and assess the health of the organization.


Mr. Abadilla explained the details of the guide questions for assessing the organization. Each participant was given questionnaire to rate how the organization work after one year. In a scale  of 1 to 5 (1-strongly disagree, 5-strongly agree), participants rated the organization in terms of member’s participation to every activities, understanding its objectives, leadership styles, and interest on financial and livelihood assistance. Result states that, members are more interested on financial and livelihood assistance than pursuing advocacy work and other social responsibility.


During the last year’s planning, the members of the federation identified programs and services to be implemented at their respective OFW Family Circles. Among the sustainable programs identified include; micro-lending, special programs (operational, referrals, counseling, mortuary aid, etc.), capacity enhancement, and advocacy program.


To determine the status, participants examined each program whether implemented or not in the first year of operation. They enumerated the hindering factors and consequences why the program was not able to push through and identify remedies on how to attain those unattained programs. Likewise, responsible persons and the needed funds for the project implementation were identified.


In his input, Dir. Bellido stressed that, the organization need to strengthen system development in terms of referral and accounting system, and they should work fully on the registration with DOLE to legitimize the status of the organization. “You must also strengthen your leadership capability and linkage to stakeholders to attain your goals and become successful. We hope that all agreements determined will be put into action”, Dir. Bellido further said.


At the end of the activity, members of the federation were enlightened and guided on the organization’s direction. The officers were able to determine areas which need utmost attention and able to identify priority projects. “We thank OWWA for conducting this activity for us because it really helped us to run the organization in the right track”, said Federation President, Longinos Espina.

The members of the Davao del Sur OFC Federation who attended the activity with OWWA-RWO XI Regional Director Eduardo E. Bellido.
Mr. Cristelito T. Abadilla explained the details of the guide questions for assessing the organization.
The members of Padada and Sulop OFCs as they identified hindering factors in the program implementation during the workshop

OFC officers from Kiblawan and Bansalan exchanged minds in identifying remedies to attain unattained goals
Regional Director Eduardo E. Bellido provided inputs on strengthening system development to the participants.


Cordillera Administrative Region

The OWWA Cordillera Administrative Region is now extending financial assistance to OFWs and their immediate dependents in the Provinces of Apayao, Kalinga and Northern Abra who were adversely affected by typhoon Lawin.


Last week, OIC-Regional Director Evelyn Laranang,  OIC-PSD Isaac Anthony Basil, and Family Welfare Officer Floribel Sales personally visited the  Provinces of Kalinga and Apayao to receive applications and  distribute financial assistance to qualified applicants.   The OWWA-CAR team would like to express their appreciation to Mayor Ferdinand Tubban of Tabuk City and his staff who provided assistance for the use of their in entertaining OFW clients for the CARE Lawin.  Likewise, no less than the Vice Mayor of the Municipality of Rizal in Kalinga, Samuel Valdez personally assisted the OWWA team in entertaining OFW clients in their locality.


For the Province of Kalinga, 48 OFWs or immediate family members already received financial in the total amount of P129,000.  Of this number, 29 were from the City of Tabuk while 19 were from the Municipality of Rizal.   Each OFW family is entitled to P3,000, for active OWWA membership while the amount of P1,500 is being given for those whose membership have expired.   


This is in line with OWWA’s commitment to help OFWs or their dependents in northern Luzon who were devastated by Typhoon Lawin through the Cash Relief Assistance (CARE) Program. Covered under this program are areas which were declared under typhoon warning signal No. 5 on the onslought of typhoon Lawin in October 2016.which includes the provinces of Apayao, Kalinga, and Northern Abra in the Cordilleras, Isabela and Cagayan in Region 2 and Ilocos Norte in Region 1.


The OWWA allocated P30 million for the CARE Program, with cash assistance of P3,000 per OFW-family with active OWWA membership and P1,500 per family whose OFW’s membership to OWWA has already lapsed or expired.  


To qualify for the financial assistance, the OFWs or their immediate dependent have to submit a duly filled-up application form, certification from Barangay Captain or any authorized official of LGU that the OFW or dependent is resident of barangay and has suffered loss or damage to property or personal injury due to Typhoon Lawin, valid identification card, and proof of relationship to OFW if claimant is a dependent of OFW. In case there are more than one OFWs in the family, only one OFW is entitled to receive financial assistance.


The OWWA Regional Welfare Office have also posted a copy of the application form on its FB page “owwa car” which may be downloaded for easy access of the OFW clients in CAR.  OWWA-CAR is now processing documents submitted either through the PESO or Migrants Desk of DOLE Provincial Offices in Kalinga and Apayao, or those directly submitted to OWWA CAR office at Private Rd., Baguio City.