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The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration XII conducted a series of capability building training to registered OFW Family Circles (OFCs) of the Municipality of Lebak in Sultan Kudarat last March 20-24, 2017.


The week-long activity kicked-off with an OFC Formation Orientation to Three (3) newly formed OFW Youth Organizations in the area, namely: The BEST Youth Organization, Legeslinians OFW Youth Organization and Pioneer OFW Youth Organization. The orientation participated by more than Two Hundred students was made possible through the partnership of Public OFW Desk Office to various secondary and tertiary educational institutions in Lebak.

Officers of three newly formed OFW Youth Organizations with FWO Charles Kevin L. Bataga (leftmost), OIC-PSD Chief Christelyn R. Caceres (in blue), PODO Lebak Rusty J. Vilo (in white) & PODO staff Dexter Luminario (rightmost in pink).

Forty Five (45) selected OFC members from three OFW Youth Organizations also have undergone the Value Formation and Organizational Development Training Module I. The training is given to newly formed OFCs to ensure the continuity of developing camaraderie among its members.


"Masaya po ang maging parte ng organisasyong ito para maipakilala po namin ang aming mga sarili at maipakita kung gaano kami kaproud maging anak at kapatid ng mga OFWs. " said Jurkie Abas, OFC youth officer.


Furthermore, Value Formation and Organizational Development Training Module  II were also given to OFW Lebak Family Organization. This two-day training aims to engage OFC Members in meaningful and active explorations of one-self and strengthen interpersonal relationship among group members. It also sought to strengthen teamwork and confront issues facing the group in order to work together for effective and efficient attainment of organizational goals and objectives.

OFW members actively participate during the tower- building workshop.

The organization which was formed in 2012 is considered as one of the municipality’s partner in elevating the lives of Overseas Filipino Workers and their families in the area. They have been active in various charitable works advocating the preservation of Mother Nature and promoting the well-being of their co-OFWs.


Programs and Services Division Chief Christelyn R. Caceres believes that valuable capability building trainings must be constantly conducted to OFW Family Circles to motivate and thrust them to initiate worthwhile undertakings.


The Municipality of Lebak is one of the farthest Local Government Unit from the region’s metropolis, Koronadal City. But this did not stop the eagerness of OWWA XII employees to deliver the programs and services of the agency, all for our beloved modern heroes.


Mr. Rusty J. Vilo, Public OFW Desk Officer, extended his gratitude to the agency for its selfless dedication in serving the interest of OFWs. "Ito po ay patunay na ang ating gobyerno ay gumagawa ng paraan para maibigay ang nararapat na tulong at suporta sa pamilyang OFWs.",  he added.

The members of OFW Lebak Family Association together with staff from OWWA XII (in blue)


Davao City – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Department of Justice (DOJ) forged a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to intensify its campaign to afford full protection to children left behind by the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).


OWWA – RWO XI Regional Director Eduardo E. Bellido said that, the MOA will provide a strategic component to further enhance the campaign and coordination among government agencies to provide welfare assistance, prevention, and remedial mechanism against child abuse and exploitation, particularly on the children of OFWs. 


Pursuant to the joint agreement, a program launch will be held on March 30, 2017 at The Ritz Hotel at Garden Oases, Obrero St., Davao City. A seminar for the Protection of Children Left Behind by the OFWS shall likewise be on stream to translate its provision on the same day. It aims to heighten awareness on the issues and problems concerning children left behind by the OFWs, identify appropriate intervention to ensure protection of children left behind, intensify child protection campaign on violence against children, and establish convergence program with OWWA, DSWD, DOJ and LGUs.


OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac and Deputy Administrator for Operations Brigido J. Dulay are among the honored guests of the event together with DOJ Regional Prosecutor Janet Grace B. Dalisay-Fabrero and DSWD Regional Director Mercedita P. Jabagat.


Some one-hundred thirty (130) participants from the government and non-government organizations and OFW Family Circles in Davao Region are expected to participate in the said activity.


Likewise, all OWWA Regional Directors including their Family Welfare Officers in Mindanao are directed to attend the seminar to replicate the same program in their respective areas.

OWWA Region 1 caps 2017 National Women's Month Celeb

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office 1 (OWWA RWOI) has capped the celebration of the 2017 National Women’s Month, as it has conducted series of activities for the whole month of March.


The OWWA RWOI has given out tokens and freebies to female clients who came to the office to do transactions such as renewal of OWWA membership and availment of programs and services. More than 250 female overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and OFW dependents received umbrellas, bags, fans, travel pillows, tumblers and other items on March 1 to 17.


Selected leaders of various OFW family circles (OFCs) in Region 1 were also invited to a lecture on the updates of the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Law or the Republic Act 9262, by Atty. Maribel C. Uminga of the Department of Justice Region 1, on March 27, 2017.


Around 100 female OFW and OFW dependents were also treated to pampering services such as manicure, pedicure, massage, and footspa on March 30, 2017. The OWWA RWOI has partnered with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Region 1 in providing these wellness services to the OFWs and families.


Earlier this month, a woman OFW leader from La Union, Ms. Edna B. Valdez, was recognized during the “Parangal sa mga Natatanging Kababaihan” at the PICC, Pasay City, for her invaluable contributions and service as woman leader in her community. Around 18 woman leaders from different regions were recognized in the ceremony, which was in celebration of the International Women’s Day on March 8.

Female OFWs who transacted with OWWA RWOI on March 1-17, 2017 received tokens and freebies, in celebration of the 2017 National Women’s Month.
Leaders of various OFW Family Circles (OFCs) in Region sit to lecture on the updates of the Anti-Violence and Women and Children Law, or the RA 9262, by Atty. Maribel C. Uminga, on March 27, 2017 at the OWWA RWOI Training Room, City of San Fernando, La Union.
Women OFWs and dependents were treated to different pampering services by the OWWA RWOI as part of the celebration of the 2017 National Women’s Month. The services offered were foot spa, manicure, pedicure and massage.


The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration XII spearheaded series of worthwhile undertakings to honor the empowered women of our society today. The agency’s month-long celebration started off last March 08, 2017 held at One-Stop Service Center for OFWs (OSSCO), City Hall of Koronadal City.


Gender and Development Focal Person Jenny U. Umag said that activities for this year’s celebration are designed to promote all genders of the society. "Ang pangunahin nating kagustuhan ay maipakita ang ating pagmamalaki sa mga kababaihan at syempre maisabuhay an gating theme na "We Make Work Change Work for Women" ", she added.


One of the meaningful activities after the kick-off is the Adopt-A-Center for a Day Program last March 17, 2017 at House of Shilloh in General Santos City. OWWA employees were given a chance to be with homeless children of General Santos City.

OWWO III Kristine Marie H. Sison carefully feeding the children at House of Shilloh

The OWWA XII employees also had a Team-Building Activity at London Beach Resort, General Santos City last March 18, 2017. According to Officer-in-Charge Marlyn E. Jamero, employees must be given some time to bond with one another to further strengthen the spirit of friendship and camaraderie among them.

OWWA XII employees after the Teambuilding Activity.

Moreover, the Critical Incidence Stress Debriefing in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development was held last March 23, 2017 at OWWA XII Training Hall, Koronadal City. The activity was participated by Twenty Seven (27) distressed OFWs identified by BPBH Program Manager Ellen Jay B. Sales.


The stress debriefing activity was facilitated by Ten (10) Social Workers from DSWD XII. This aims to help the distressed OFWs recover from the unfriendly experience they had while working abroad.


The National Women’s Month celebration of OWWA XII ended with a Blood Donation Activity in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross – South Cotabato Chapter last March 27, 2017 held at OWWA XII Training Hall.


Officer-in-Charge Marlyn E. Jamero extends her salutation to all dedicated and empowered women OFWs worldwide for their selfless sacrifice for their families.

GAD Focal Person Jenny U. Umag (2nd from left), OIC Marlyn E. Jamero (7th from left), OIC-PSD Chief Christelyn R. Caceres (5th from right) with other OWWA employees and staff from Philippine Red Cross (in red) after the Blood Donation Activity.



CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – OWWA Region 10 and 253 OFWs and their dependents coming from various Migrant Ministries of several parishes in Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon attended the 31st Migrants Sunday spearheaded by the Cagayan de Oro Migrants Ministry of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro, last March 12, 2017 held at the Provincial Capitol Grounds, Cagayan de Oro City with the theme “Children & Women Migrants, Vulnerable and Voiceless”. The celebration of the National Migrants’ Sunday was the Church’s response to the current issues and challenges of migration and its expression of solidarity to the various concerns of more than 10 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).


The event was started by a Holy Mass presided by the Archbishop of Cagayan de Oro, Most Rev. Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ, DD assisted by Msgr. Eutiquiano M. Legitimas, Director of the Archdiocesan Migrants Ministry. Aside from OWWA, other national government agencies participated including the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and Philippine Coast Guard (Northern Mindanao). A representative from the Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant also graced the event.

On behalf of the Department of Labor and Employment family, OIC-RD Mabagal delivered her message emphasizing on the importance of a collaborative effort of the church, government agencies, civil society organizations and other stakeholders to address the challenges posed by migration. She further reminded every OFWs for the renewal of their OWWA membership for their protection, and to hasten availment of programs and services of OWWA.

The celebration continued with the usual raffle draw of door prizes, games, intermission numbers and a personal sharing of 2015 Model OFW of the Year Awardee, Mr. Adelfo M. Saura of Lugait Migrants Ministry.

OWWA RWO-10(in purple) together with members of various Migrants Ministries / OFCs in Misamis Oriental Oriental during the 31st celebration of National Migrants Sunday last March 12, 2017 at the Capitol Grounds, Cagayan de Oro City.



Last March 17, 2016, OWWA Region 10 facilitated the conduct of a 1-day Learning Session on Women Empowerment, VAWC, Child Protection and HIV-AIDS Awareness to 44 OFC key officials at the Mandana Hall of the New VIP Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City. Ms. Flor T. Victoriano, recently Awardee of the 2017 Outstanding Women OFC Leaders and Lay Coordinator of Migrants Ministry of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro talked on Women Empowerment in the context of Christian Scriptures. Ms. Victoriano gives the historical background on how women in the Bible played an important role which had a direct impact on the lives of women in the present time. Verses from the Old and New Testament as well as famous quote from renowned philosophers and famous individual such as Mahatma Gandhi complemented the talk. Moreover, Ms. Victoriano pointed out that it is the culture and tradition that regard women as inferior to men but she also stressed that Scriptures teaches equality between men and women. Eve, Yochabed, Miriam, Ruth, Queen Vasti, Queen Esther, and no less than the Virgin Mary are among the women in the Bible who displayed woman’s empowerment.

The second topic of the learning session deals with the legalities on how to address violence against women and children delivered by Fiscal Ruby T. Malanog of the Regional Prosecutor’s Office. Fiscal Malanog highlighted why despite of the prevailing laws which aims to protect women and children, abuses continue to persist. The reason why women stayed in an abusive environment are the following: fear of life or safety, fear of economic loss, fear of the family’s reputation, for the children’s sake, ignorance / lack of awareness, ambivalence, and the belief that no one understand her husband/partner but only her and someday the man will eventually change and mend his ways. She cited actual cases handled by her as a prosecutor. She encouraged women who filed cases for abuse to fight and continue the case until its resolution. She also calls on the OFC leaders to be more vigilant and report abuses happened in their respective communities and provide moral support and encouragement to the victims to carry on their causes so that violence against women can be mitigated. On the aspect of child protection, she confided that perpetrators of child abuse have used the social media especially on child pornography and cybersex crime. Fiscal Malanog cautioned that parents should be mindful of their children’s activities particularly with those possessing smart phones with Android applications. There were reports that cybersex and child pornography are being performed using smartphones. Hence, parents should not be complacent and have to periodically check their children’s smartphones. Fiscal Malanog provided the audience some new trends or codes used in the chatroom for parents to be aware such as PITR (Parents in the Room) or AITR (Adults in the Room); RYS (Are you Single), etc. She also warned not to receive or download videos depicting child pornography or even videos showing physical abused and violence as this will lead you liable of a cybercrime offense.

Fiscal Malanog encourages OWWA and the participants to organized forum in their respective community regarding Anti Cyber Crime Law and Cybersex for the public to be aware so that one’s own privacy and safety will not be compromised.


The concluding topic was on the Awareness on HIV-AIDS discussed by Ms. Fritzie C. Estoque, President of the Misamis Oriental-Cagayan de Oro AIDS Network. Misconceptions and myths about HIV were discussed. Similarly, topics on sexually transmitted infection, the modes of transmission of HIV and avenue for treatment and the programs and services of both the government and non-government organizations to address HIV-AIDS were also tackled. Ms. Estoque appeal to the OFC leaders to help in educating their communities about HIV-AIDS. A lively discussion and demonstration on how to properly use the condom as concluded the session.


The conduct of Learning Session on Women Empowerment, VAWC, Child Protection and HIV-AIDS Awareness are one of the series of activities line-up by OWWA-10 to commemorate Women’s Month Celebration.


OWWA Holds One-Stop Services Cum Livelihood Fair for RAP-KSA Repatriates

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – 45 RAP-KSA (Relief Assistance Program – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) repatriates joined the half-day One-Stop Services cum Livelihood Fair conducted by Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office 10 (OWWA RWO 10) last March 30, 2017 at the PDOS Room, 2nd Floor Trinidad Bldg. Corrales-Yacapin Sts. Cagayan de Oro City. The fair served as the agency’s response to the request of KSA-RAP beneficiaries for sustainable livelihood assistance. It may be noted that OWWA-10 released a total amount of P39,380,000.00 benefitting 2,063 RAP-KSA recipients.

Among the government agencies which participated the livelihood fair are the following: the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Philippine Overseas and Employment Administration (POEA), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The services of the said agencies are vital since they provided technical support and services for the espoused livelihood projects and training needs of RAP-KSA repatriates. Each agency was introduced to the participants and accordingly conducted the orientation of its respective programs and services.

RAP-KSA repatriates were happy to participate the Livelihood Fair and were thankful to OWWA of its initiative to gather the other agencies for they were able to avail of its services at one stop.


Managing Stress Symposium for OWWA 10 Staff and Gender and Development Activity

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Region 10 conducted a symposium on “How to Manage Stress last March 24, 2017 in line with the celebration of the National Women’s Month, with the theme, “We Make Change Work for Women”. RWO-10 officers and staff attended the health and wellness symposium at the PDOS Room. The symposium aims to address the health and wellness concerns of RWO-10 personnel considering the nature of their work.

Ms. Connie Ann Cuadra, Registered Nurse from the OWWA – Misamis Oriental Provincial Hospital (OWWA-MOPH) served as the resource speaker. The participants were asked to define stress based on their own experience. Ms. Cuadra also emphasized how stress usually affects a person’s cognitive, emotional, physical and behavioral aspect on his/her overall health. Ways to manage and deal with stress were also discussed accordingly. One way to cope with stress is to remember the nomenclature NEWSTART which stands for N- Nutrition, E- Exercise, W-water of 8 glasses per day, S- get enough sunlight from 6-8AM, T- temperance, A-get enough fresh air, R- rest well and minimize social media at night, and lastly T – to trust in God. The following day, OWWA 10 spent the weekend for the Gender and Development activity held at the Apple Tree Resort, Opol, Misamis Oriental. Beach games and group dynamics activities participated by male and female RWO-10 personnel highlighted the event.

This is one of the series of activities lined-up in celebration of the 2017 National Women’s Month.



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)


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