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RWO ARMM
OWWA-ARMM celebrates 35th Anniversary

COTABATO CITY – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration – Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (OWWA-ARMM) celebrates the 35th OWWA Anniversary last May 19, 2017 at OWWA-ARMM Training Center, Cotabato City.

 

The purpose of this activity is to celebrate, empower and motivate OWWA-ARMM employees by recognizing their work and contributions to the agency.

 

Regional Director Amy B. Crisostomo, in her inspirational message, expressed her gratitude to all the staff of OWWA-ARMM for their dedication and hard-work to uphold and deliver quality services to its clients.

 

The highlight of the event is the Performance Pledge by the employees to refresh, remember and learn by heart the commitments they’ve made.

 

The employees were given token of appreciation to recognize their contributions to the agency.

 

The event ended with a sumptuous dinner together. It was a night filled with games, songs, and laughter for OWWA-ARMM family.

 

 
 
 
 

National Capital Region
TIME IS GOLD: EDSP SCHOLAR BECOMES A LICENSED MECHANICAL ENGINEER

Engineer Carlos Miguel Cacatian, scholar of Batch 9 of the Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP), recently passed the 2017 Mechanical Engineering Board Examinations visited the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office – National Capital Region (OWWA RWO-NCR).

 

After more than 5 years, Engr. Carlos Miguel Cacatian has finally achieved his dream of becoming a Licensed Mechinal Engineer. He graduated from Mapua Institute of Technology on 20 February 2017 and immediately passed the Mechanical Board Examinations on 22 March 2017. Engr. Cacatian took his oath as a Licensed Mechanical Engineer at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) on 1 May 2017.

 

Like most of the students, Engineer Cacatian also had his fair share of ups and downs during his college life. “I failed twice under the same professor. What hurts most is that I was already in my 4th year in college when I first failed,” he said. But instead of giving up, he was motivated to study harder to complete his education.

 

College life

 

Engr. Cacatian is the son of an OFW who works at the Off Shore Gas Company in New Orleans, United States of America. When asked on why he took up Mechanical Engineering, he said that his father greatly influenced him and he believes engineering is in demand with higher opportunity for employment. In his college days, he was active in extracurricular activities and was once a Treasurer of his school organization. In his first year, he joined a Goldberg making competition along with his batch mates. Engr. Cacatian passed his first 3 years in college with flying colors as he was part of the top 10 in his batch in the Engineering course. However, when he reached 4th year college, he failed two subjects under the same professor. When asked why he failed those subjects, Engr. Cacatian explained, “I failed my first subject because of the style of teaching of my strict professor. I also had a hard time because of the schedule of that subject; that subject is scheduled every Saturday morning but I had also classes every Friday night. As for the second subject, the passing grade for the final exam was 80 but I only got a grade of 79 that is why I failed the subject.”

 

Lessons Learned

 

Engr. Cacatian leaned on his family’s support when he failed his subjects. According to him, his family was a bit disappointed since he only had a year and a half to finish college without any failing mark but they were still there to encourage him to do better, “My family told me to study harder and improve my grades. They told me that I should pass that subject in the next term.” He learned a valuable lesson during the tough times that he encountered: Time Management. He stressed the importance of using one’s time wisely, “Time management is very important because it helps you to be productive. It is hard to waste one’s time.”  He also pointed out the importance of putting a lot of effort into studying by saying, “When I retook those failed subjects, I made sure to put all my effort into it to make sure that I will not fail again. I was afraid to fail again because I value my scholarship.”

 

EDSP Scholarship

 

Engr. Cacatian applied for the scholarship because he did not want to burden his family and he wanted to help his parents in paying his tuition. He feels thankful for the opportunity given to him and for helping him to become a better student, “I would like to thank OWWA for giving me the opportunity to become a scholar, it helped us a lot financially. I also feel grateful because I improved my study habits and became more responsible by managing my time wisely because I had to maintain my scholarship status.” He also gave an advice to the remaining scholars by saying, “Just focus and prioritize your studies. Also, you should not waste your time because you cannot bring it back anymore.”

Engineer Carlos Miguel Cacatian together with Education and Training Unit Head Vivian Velez

 

Engineer Carlos Miguel Cacatian together with his family.

 

Engineer Carlos Miguel Cacatian during his oath taking on 1 May 2017.

 
Carlos Miguel Cacatian during his graduation at Mapua Institute of Technology on 20 February 2017
 

National Capital Region
SOARING TO HIGHER SKIES: EDSP SCHOLAR GRADUATES AS MAGNA CUM LAUDE

Gene Luche Battung, scholar of Batch 11 of the Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP), recently graduated Magna Cum Laude from Air Link Aviation International College on 11 April 2017 visited the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office – National Capital Region (OWWA RWO-NCR).

 

Life in the Middle East

 

Gene left the Philippines when he was in Grade 5 to live in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) because his father will work as a Service Manager in Saudi Oger. His mother also stayed in KSA to take care of them. After graduating from Palm Crest International High School, Gene returned to the Philippines to pursue his college education. He felt lonely and incomplete because his parents were left behind in Riyadh. He said that, “Even my brother was with me in the Philippines, I felt at a loss because anything I need, my parents will always be there to provide. At the same time, I had to cope with the new life style and I got culture shock at first.”  He added that distance from his family for the first time did not hinder him from studying hard and graduating with Latin Honor. Being on his own during his college years was his source of motivation to make his parents proud.

 

College Life

 

When asked why he took the course in Aircraft Maintenance, Gene immediately answered that it was his dream since he was a child. He recalled that, “since I was a kid, every time I will be asked what I wanted to be when I grow up? My response will be “I want to become a Pilot”. I chose my course since it is related to the course that I originally wanted to take, which is flying.” Gene felt his college days were short-lived but he enjoyed it so much because he only completed his course in 3 years. He said that graduating from college at aged 18 is quite worrisome and if he is ready for the real world. The present struggle he is facing now is the fast paced world outside school.  After 3 years, Gene has succeeded in achieving a fraction of his dream to become a pilot with honor – Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Aircraft Maintenance Technology.

 

Struggles and Blessings

 

Even if he wanted to take a Flying course, Gene had to adjust due to financial constraints. “If given the opportunity I would take up a Flying course but due to financial constraints, I had to take up a different course. Definitely, I still do have a plan of studying again to become a Pilot.”

 

It was back in May 2016 when his parents returned to the Philippines because of the mandatory repatriation of the Philippine government. His father worked at Saudi Oger, one of the nine construction and maintenance companies which faced a financial crisis in Saudi Arabia. According to Gene’s father, Engineer Marcial Battung, he spent his own money to buy their plane tickets because they could no longer wait for the repatriation program of the government. Fortunately, Engr. Battung was recently hired as the Section Chief of the Fire Safety and Enforcement Education department of the Bureau of Fire Protection.

 

Future plans

 

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Gene gave himself a timeline as well as viable options to help him achieve his dream of becoming a Pilot. “After I finish my 6-month internship at the Omni Aviation Corporation, I will complete all my requirements and take the licensure examination. From then, I have 2 viable options: first, is to continue working to be able to finance my studies and second, is to find a scholarship at any flying school,” he said.

 

EDSP Scholarship

 

Prior to the qualifying examination, Gene was not aware of the existence of the scholarship program of OWWA. He only found out about the EDSP when his school chose him, along with other students, to take the qualifying exams. “I felt blessed when I received that opportunity. I felt more blessed when the results came out that I was one out of the 3 passers from our school,” he said.

 

He is also thankful for the support that he received from OWWA for the past 3 years. “For everyone in OWWA, thank you so much for the help. Please continue your generous work. You have been instrumental to improve our lives - to me and also to other students and OFWs out there. Please continue doing your great job and God Bless you all,” he said.         

 

Gene inspires other scholars by quoting a popular author - “They should continue aspiring for their dreams and when they encounter times of hardships, they should always remember to seek the seed of triumph in every adversity. They should not lose hope when times get hard and remember that they are doing this not only for themselves but also for their parents who worked hard and suffered many sacrifices while working overseas.” 

RWO-NCR Director Emma V. Sinclair and EDSP Scholar Gene Luche Battung holding Gene’s medal for graduating as Magna Cum Laude

 

From L to R: PSD Chief Ma. Teresa Capa, RWO-NCR Director Emma V. Sinclair, EDSP Scholar Gene Luche Battung, Dolores Battung, Gene’s mother, and Engineer Marcial Battung, Gene’s father

 

From L to R: RWO-NCR Director Emma V. Sinclair, ETU head Vivian Velez, EDSP scholar Gene Luche Battung, Dolores Battung, PSD Chief Ma. Teresa Capa and Engineer Marcial Battung.

 

Gene Luche Battung together with his parents and brother during his graduation day

 

 Gene Luche Battung, EDSP Batch 11 scholar, from Air Link Aviation International College graduated Magna Cum Laude on 11 April 2017

 

RWO VI
OWWA conducts Summer Youth Camp for Scholars

Attended by twenty-three (23) scholars from the Education for Development Scholarship Program, the OFW Dependent Scholarship Program, and the Education and Livelihood Assistance Program, the activity carried   the theme "I Am An OWWA Scholar. I Choose to be Healthy. I Choose to be Excel. I Choose to be Me: Guiding the Scholars in making right Choices.”

 

The summer youth camp provided participants an avenue to discuss issues affecting the youth of today like peer pressure, teenage sexuality, academic pressure, and their role in nation-building. 

Overseas Workers Welfare Officer II, and Mr. Remon Albeza, Family Welfare Officer, pose with the OWWA scholars during the distribution of certificates

 

RWO I
OWWA Region 1 personnel learn on basic earthquake preparedness

The officers and staff of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office I (OWWA RWOI) set on a basic lecture and orientation on earthquake preparedness on May 8, 2017 as part of its activities on emergency planning. 

 

Mr. Freddie C. Evangelista and Ms. Schezelle Kriska Janica O. Doctolero of the Office of Civil Defense Regional Office I (OCD R1) served as learning service providers for the basic orientation.

 

They discussed on the procedures in conducting an earthquake drill, along with other vital information in preparing for any unforeseen natural disasters.

 

The lecture revealed the Phivolcs report that of the top 10 provinces which are at risk to earthquakes, La Union and Pangasinan rank second and fourth, respectively.

 

The OCD officers also identified the earthquake exit in the OWWA RWOI office. They also commited to extend assistance in creating disaster management council of the OWWA RWOI.

           The officers and staff of the OWWA RWOI sat on a basic lecture and orientation on earthquake preparedness on May 8, 2017. 

 

RWO I
OWWA opens college scholarship for 2nd to 5th year OFW dependents

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) now accepts application for the scholarship program for overseas Filipino workers’ dependents who are currently enrolled in college.

 

The Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP) has been expanded to include admission of OFW legal dependents are now in their second to fifth year in college.

 

The scholarship program provides P60,000 financial assistance to qualified OFW legal dependents, who should be a child of a married OFW-member; or sibling of a single or childless OFW-member. The OFW should also be an active OWWA member. If membership is expired, it should be within the six-month extension period.

 

The applicant should have a general weighted average not lower than B letter grade or 85 per cent equivalence in all subjects in the last school year attended in full load.

 

Only six scholarship slots per province are available. Hence, interested qualified applicants are advised to submit their application the soonest, as acceptance and admission is on a ‘first-come, first-served basis.’

 

Basic documentary requirements include accomplished application form; 2x2 identification picture; birth certificate authenticated by the Philippine Statistics Authority; duly-authenticated certificate of grades in the last school year; and proof of OWWA membership of the OFW-member.

 

For inquiries, the OWWA Regional Welfare Office I may be reached at 0908 863 4300 / 0908 863 4250 / 09727 620 7300, or email at owwalaunion@yahoo.com

 

RWO VI
About ₱120K given to KSA amnesty availees under OWWA’s CARE Program

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office (OWWA RWO) 6 already released approximately one-hundred and twenty thousand pesos (₱120,000.00) to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) who qualified for OWWA’S Cash Relief (CARE) Program.

 

As of June 13, 2017, a total of 24 OFWs in Western Visayas received financial assistance from the said program.

 

The CARE, a one-time financial grant worth five thousand pesos (₱5,000.00) given to undocumented OFWs and their dependents who applied for KSA’s 90-day amnesty program for overstaying expatriates and labor violators, is meant to shoulder the OFW-amnesty availees’ and their families’ incidental expenses upon their repatriation.

 

The first batch of CARE recipients availed of the aid after attending OWWA’s special orientation seminar, which was also participated by partner agencies like the Department of Labor and Employment, the LandBank of the Philippines, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and the National Reintegration Center for OFWs last June 1, 2017. 

 

Mr. James Mendiola, Officer-In-Charge of OWWA Region 6, said that the office is expecting more amnesty availees to inquire about the program in the next few weeks.

 

Mr. Rony Barcelona, a former mechanic and one of the first CARE recipients, expressed gratitude for the help the office is extending to them.

 

“My fellow OFWs and I were undocumented for so long in Saudi. This assistance we received from OWWA and the government makes us glad that our pleas are actually heard,” he said.

 

Interested availees can visit the OWWA Region 6 office at 3rd Floor of Robinsons Place Iloilo City. They can also contact the regional office through (033) 3374484 and (033) 5091075, or at the Bacolod City satellite office at (034) 4322873.

The processing of the CARE applicants immediately began after OWWA’s special orientation program for KSA amnesty availees. 

 

(From top to bottom): Ms. Rizza Joy Mapa-Moldes, Overseas Workers Welfare Officer II, Ms. Conie Binarao, Officer-In-Charge of Programs & Services Division, and Ms. Jean Jover, Family Welfare Officer, aided in the distributing of the financial assistance.

 

RWO I
Region 1 OFW leaders uphold team spirit

Leaders of various overseas Filipino workers’ family circles (OFCs) in Region 1 have gathered for a two-day training which aimed to strengthen their ties as OFW groups, which are partners of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) in the grassroots.

 

Around 63 OFC leaders in Region 1 took part of the team-building activity on May 30-31, 2107 at the Kabaleyan Cove Resort, San Carlos City, Pangasinan. The activity centered on the theme, “promoting theme dynamics towards the attainment of organizational goals and objectives of the new OFC leaders in Region 1.”

 

Total of 20 OFC leaders have come from Pangasinan; 16 from La Union, 12 from Ilocos Sur, and 15 from Ilocos Norte.

 

Serving as learning service provider was Mr. Allen Jeffrey O. Saraza, a renowned leadership speaker and a psychology instructor at the De La Salle University. In his talks, Saraza imparted lessons on team dynamics, group communication, and strategic planning, which were processed through games, group activities and lectures.

 

The OFC leaders have also elected their new set of officers for the OFC Regional Council. Elected as president is Edna Valdez, while the rest of the officers are: Flordeliza Aceret, vice president; Eliza Acena, secretary; Evelyn Basconcillo, assistant secretary; Vicky Briones, treasurer; Dolores Cortes, assistant treasurer; Esmeraldo Agustin and Lenilda Raguindin, auditors; Lilia Pitt and Evelyn Dulay, business managers; Carmencita Viray, and Ma. Corazon Palomares, peace officers; Rommel Ulep, Lilybeth Rambaud, Celia Pamilteng, and Virginia Estepa, PROs; and, Edward Operaña, Virginia Rancapero, Erlinda Gampayon, and Jocelyn Llarenas, board of directors.

 

The new officers are set to take their oath on June 8, in the celebration of the 2017 Migrant Workers Day, in the City of San Fernando, La Union.

 

The activity was also witnessed by the Department of Labor and Employment Central Pangasinan Field Office led by its chief, Engracio Bailon, Provincial Government of Pangasinan, represented by Provincial PESO staff Christopher Dioquino; City Government of San Carlos represented by PESO manager Reynaldo Dela Cruz; and the OWWA Regional Welfare Office I (OWWA RWOI) led by OIC PSD Marivic L. Mondina.

OFC leaders pose for posterity as they cap the two-day team building activity on May 30-31, 2017 at the Kabaleyan Cove Resort, San Carlos City, Pangasinan.
 

A total of 63 OFC leaders participated in the team-building activity, facilitated for them by the OWWA RWOI. 

 
Mr. Allen Jeffrey O. Saraza (upper left) employed various learning techniques such as games, group activities and lectures to illustrate lessons on team dynamics, group communication, and strategic planning.
 
The OFC leaders’ speed, endurance and agility were also tested in this game called blanket volleyball. 

 

RWO VI
OFWs honored on Migrant Workers’ Day 2017

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office (OWWA RWO) 6 gathered about two-hundred and one (201) OFWs and their families for this year’s Migrant Workers’ Day or “Araw ng Pasasalamat” at Robinsons Place Jaro, Iloilo City last June 7, 2017.

 

The activity is an annual celebration held in observance of the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995, which sought to institute “a higher standard of protection and promotion of the welfare of migrant workers.”

 

Members from different regional OFW Family Circles provided the afternoon’s entertainment, while gift items like grocery packs, rice cookers, electric fans and other freebies were raffled out.

 

RWO CARAGA

Butuan City - The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry and Landbank of the Philippines, conducted three sessions of Phase 1 Enterprise Development and Loan Program (EDLP) to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) on May 5, 2017 in Agusan del Sur; on May 17, 2017 in the Province of Dinagat Island and another one on May 22 at OWWA Regional Office, this city.

 

OWWA currently implements the Enterprise Development and Loan Program, formerly known as 2 Billion OFW-Reintegration Program, under its Family Support and Reintegration Services, a loan facility which is intended to support enterprise development among OFWs and their families.

 

“This program aims to provide assistance among active and returning OFWs in order to improve their socio-economic well-being and their reintegration in the mainstream society and aid them in starting off and expanding income generating livelihood which promotes productivity and self-reliance,” bared Jean Mary Ronquillo-Ladion, OWWO II and in-charge of the EDLP.

 

With its revamped design, the agency made sure that the orientation will be easily accessible to the interested OFWs through its mobilization. The first of the three was conducted at Brgy. 5, San Francisco, Agusan del Sur with fifty-six (56) attendees from around the province, while Twenty-three (23) OFWs and dependents from the provinces of Dinagat, San Jose and Cagdianao joined during the phase 1 of EDLP held at DTI Negosyo Center in the Province of Dinagat Island. To cater to the OFWs living in Agusan del Norte and those who failed to attend in the previous sessions, another orientation was held at OWWA Training Hall at the Regional Office with sixty-six (66) loan applicants from all over Caraga.

 

The first phase of EDLP includes program orientation, financial literacy and personal entrepreneurial assessment. The phase intends to present and clarify among the participants the program scheme and availment procedure.

 

OFW loan applicants must complete a Program Orientation and Business Appreciation Course, an Enhanced Entrepreneurship Development Training (EEDT) conducted by the agency alongside DTI and LBP. After completing phase 1, interested applicants will then undergo an Entrepreneurship Training and Business Immersion and Business Plan Workshop.

 

The enhanced loan facility provides a minimum of Php 100,000.00 and a maximum of Php 2,000,000.00 for individual borrowers and from Php 100,000.00 to Php 5,000,000.00 for group loan borrowers at an annual interest of 7.5% for the entire duration of the loan.

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