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6, 748 Amnesty OFW-Beneficiaries Receive CARE Program

A total of 6, 748 OFW - beneficiaries who availed of the Amnesty Program offered by the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia received financial assistance of Php 5,000 cash from the Regional Welfare Office – National Capital Region of the OWWA.


The CARE program is a one-time cash relief assistance given to OWWA Members, active or non-active, who availed of the Amnesty Program from 29 March 2017 to 23 July 2017.


The grant of the CARE program to the amnesty availees must be within ninety (90) days after arrival in the Philippines.


The program aims to aid the OFW-Amnesty availees pay their incidental expenses upon return to their families considering the difficulty they experienced of having no regular income prior to the Amnesty Program.

The beneficiaries of the OWWA Care program from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


OWWA launches 2017 Model OFW Family Search for Caraga

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Regional Welfare Office Caraga announces the launching of the search for Model OFW Family of the Year Award (MOFYA) in Caraga region.


The annual MOFYA search is designed to give due recognition to outstanding achievements of the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their families in promoting best practices in managing family challenges albeit adverse effects of overseas migration on family solidarity and cohesiveness.


To be eligible for nomination, the Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) must be the head of the family, land-based or sea-based, formerly or presently working abroad with a contract of employment or work permit, and must have a proof of OWWA membership.


MOFYA nominees must conform to the following criteria: (a) 50 percent for wholesome OFW family; (b) 20 percent for civic/community involvement of OFW and family members; (c) 20 percent for success in children’s or family member’s education; and (d) 10 percent for success in managing family finances.


The OFW, either single or married should have the following criteria:

  • the OFW should have at least five (4) years of work experience;

  • the OFW family should be known as an exemplary presence in the community; and

  • the OFW family should be financially stable

  • that he/she has returned to the country for good for no longer than ten (10) years at the time of nomination

Previous regional MOFYA nominees can be nominated for the second time only after two (2) years; must not be related up to the third degree of consanguinity and affinity to officials and employees of OWWA, DOLE and its attached agencies, and social partners of MOFYA; and must NOT be a holder of an elective/appointive position in national/local office at the time of nomination.


Two families; one coming sea-based and another from the land-based category will be chosen as MOFYA regional winners in September who will represent the region to the national search in November 2017.


Regional Director Samuel Madrid of OWWA Caraga is encouraging the following sectors: Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), Peoples’ Organizations (POs), Religious Groups, Community based Socio-Civic Organizations and Local Government Units (LGUs) and OFW Family Circles (OFCs) to send their MOFYA nominees.


For more information about the program, kindly visit the OWWA Caraga office at Nimfa Tiu Bldg. II, J.P. Rosales Avenue, Butuan City or contact us at (085) 342-6178/2255989. 


Most students slip into depression, give up on education or their dreams, or take some extreme step after facing failure, life’s challenges, or privation of any kind. But not to a 21 year old CMWSP scholar, who has set an example with her persistence and diligence to realize her dreams. This is the message young Melody Salazar Garin, a Bachelor of Science in Biology graduate, would like to impart to her fellow scholars.


Ms. Garin is a proud scholar of OWWA RWO IV-A. She belongs to Batch 6th under the Congressional Migrant Workers Scholarship Program (CMWSP). Melody, as she was fondly called, never relented in achieving her goal of finishing her studies despite hectic school activities and academic demand of being a scholar.


Her persistence and patience not only paid off but she emerged on top, victorious of taking the laurel of a cum laude as her reward for being a studious, determined, responsible student and a loving daughter.


Melody gave the following parting words as inspirational message to all whom she loves and for those who supported her during her times of needs:


“It’s been a long journey since the orientation about the scholarship and I hope that OWWA is proud of their scholars like me. Recently, we had our graduation last July 5, 2017 and I was awarded with 3 medals: Cum Laude, Excellence in Biology Research, and Excellence in Community Service. I could not have done it without the continuous support I received through the scholarship especially when it comes to financial aspect. The tuition fee greatly helped in minimizing the school fees I have to pay for each semester. Though I graduated with a course that is not my first choice, I believe that it was indeed God’s best option for me. I believe He planned everything so that I can be someone productive and driven despite the difficulties I faced.” Melody said.


To other OWWA scholars, take the example and words of Melody and live by it and you will soon - like her - reap the fruits of your hard work.



OWWA gives dreams to teachers thru Computer Training Program

Ms. Ronalyn G. Cabañero is an educator who used to teach children with special needs before resigning last summer to take care of her three-year old son who was diagnosed with autism.


The irony was not lost on her: “I’ve taught the children of other parents for six years. So, what should prevent me from taking care of my own?”


Ms. Cabañero, however, is aiming to gain employment in a public school in Northern Iloilo while her husband, a seafarer who last boarded three years ago take care of their son, waits to be deployed.


She heard from a relative who works as a domestic helper in Hong Kong that the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is offering free Information and Communication Technology (ICT) training seminars for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their beneficiaries.


After completing her class schedule at the Regional Welfare Office 6, Ms. Cabañero obtained her Certificate of Completion (COC) this June, and is happy in the hope that she will finally be getting the target ranking for teaching that she longed for.


She is just one of the 690 dependents out of the 774 people who completed OWWA’s ICT training from January to June of 2017.


The original purpose of the ICT program is to teach OFWs to connect to their loved ones and vice-versa via the internet.


In recent years however, the OWWA ICT COCs have proven to be useful to OFWs and their beneficiaries, most of them teachers, who are looking for employment.


The said program covers computer fundamentals like typing lessons, basic computer and productivity program simulations in the forms of using Microsoft Office software, and introduction to the internet.


Mr James B. Mendiola, Officer-In-Charge of OWWA RWO 6, recognizes the importance of the program as not just for career advancement, but for personal growth, as well.


“Filipinos are increasingly becoming reliant on digital tools,” Mr. Mendiola said. “And even though some may find it difficult to understand these at first, it is not too late for anyone to adjust to the changes. It is never too late to learn something new.”


Ms. Arjelyn Marie Cambar, a Board passer from 2016 who works as a tutor at a private center, was also in the same training batch as Ms. Cabañero. She appreciated that the lessons imparted to them were taught in a hands-on approach.


“I had an existing knowledge about computers, but at least I learned much more about it because of the training,” she said. “Even in public schools, we can’t deny the fact that this kind of training is important for us teachers because technology, particularly multimedia, is being incorporated in the curricula.”


Mr. Ricky P. Cordova, Information Technology Instructor I, believes that the ICT training offers a deeper purpose for those who availed of it.


“The program gives hope and an opportunity for underprivileged people who cannot afford to go to school for a formal computer training,” he said.


For further inquiries and class schedules, OFWs and their beneficiaries can visit the OWWA RWO 6 Computer Laboratory at the 3rd floor of Robinsons Place, Iloilo City, or they can call (033) 3374484 or 5091075.

Mr. Ricky Cordova, Information Technology Instructor I (top picture, leftmost on back row) and Mr. Marvin Reid Abellon, Information Technology Instructor II, pose with their respective classes.
Ms. Cabañero (left) and Ms. Cambar after receiving their COCs.


OWWA opens provincial office in Rosales, Pangasinan

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has opened its provincial office in Rosales, Pangasinan, to bring its services closer to the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families in the OFW-rich province.


The OWWA Regional Welfare Office 1 (RWOI)- Pangasinan provincial welfare office (PWO) started its daily operations last 31 July 2017. The PWO is housed at the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Eastern Pangasinan field office, located at the Government Center, Brgy. Carmay East, Rosales, Pangasinan.


Since 2012, the OWWA RWOI has been holding its satellite office at the DOLE Rosales, Pangasinan, with operations every Friday. But with the increasing clamor from OFW clienteles in Pangasinan and the volume of availment of services, the OWWA RWOI has endeavored to expand its operations in the province.


“This is very timely, especially that the OWWA programs and services are becoming more accessible and responsive to the needs of the OFW-members,” said OIC Dir. Sergio B. Borgueta, Jr. “With the expansion of our programs comes the need to enhance the delivery of our services,” he added.


The Rosales PWO has been serving an average of 200 clients every Friday. Now with the daily operations, the number is anticipated to increase.


Among the services offered in the provincial office include public assistance, program availment, and collection of OWWA membership contribution.


The first OWWA provincial office in Region 1, the Rosales PWO is set to be formally launched soon, to be attended by the officials from the DOLE, Pangasinan Provincial Government and the local government of Rosales.


The OWWA RWOI will also maintain its other satellite offices in Pangasinan, such as in DOLE Dagupan every Wednesday; and DOLE Alaminos every Friday.


Pangasinan is known to be one of the OFW-rich provinces in the country. To date, there are 240, 433 active and inactive OWWA members from Pangasinan, comprising 54% of the total membership in Region 1. 

Clients at the OWWA Provincial Office in Rosales, Pangasinan watch OWWA personnel as they put up the signage at the provincial office, which will now operate daily to bring OWWA programs and services closer to the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families in the Pangasinan.


Celebrating Excellence OWWA-ARMM ODSP Scholar graduates Cum Laude A

COTABATO CITY – Normala Matula Bulingkig, a beneficiary of the OFW Dependents Scholarship Program (ODSP) of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration - Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (OWWA-ARMM), graduated Cum Laude from the Mindanao State University (MSU) – Maguindanao. She was awarded during the Graduation Ceremony last May 25, 2017 at MSU-Maguindanao, Dalican, D.O.S., Maguindanao.


Normala is the younger sister of OFW Gina U. Bulingkig, a Household Service Worker (HSW) from Kuwait. She earned a degree in Bachelor of Secondary Education – Major in English.


She is the 5th among the seven children of Badal and Palumpokan Bulingkig.


Normala expressed her sincere and heartfelt gratitude to OWWA for giving her the opportunity to be one of the OWWA Scholars.


“I am sincerely honored, delighted, and grateful to have been selected as one of the recipients of the OFWDSP. Thank you very much for your generosity. Through this, I was able to fulfill not only my dream but also my parent’s dream. My degree, BSED-Major in English, wouldn’t be possible without your financial assistance. You have lightened the burden which made me focus more on my studies,” Normala said.


“Words are not enough to express how thankful I am. In behalf of the Bulingkig family and from the bottom of our hearts, thank you very much for your generosity and support. My latin award, Cum Laude, is dedicated to you and the whole staff of OWWA. You will always be part of my life and my success. May the Almighty Allah bless you”, she added.


The OFW Dependents Scholarship Program (OFWDSP) is granted to an eligible dependent of an active OFW with a basic monthly salary of not more than $600. The scholar receives a financial assistance of P 10,000.00 per semester.


OWWA-RWO XI recognized social partners and service providers during the 2017 Migrant Workers’ Day

Davao City – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) – Regional Welfare Office XI has successfully conducted the 22nd Migrant Workers’ Day last June 7, 2017 at the Kadayawan Hall of NCCC Mall, Davao City attended by around 1,000 OFWs and their families from Davao City and the four (4) provinces of Davao Region.


The annual celebration is in pursuant to R.A. 8042 also known as the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 which aims to recognize the vital contributions of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to the national economy and to show the government’s resolve in protecting and promoting the welfare of OFWs and their families.


In line with this year’s theme: “Magkasangga Para sa Kapakanan, Kalusugan at Kabuhayan ng mg OFWs”, the region resolved to give recognition to its social partners, outstanding OWWA scholars and OFW Family Circles (OFCs), successful OFW-entrepreneurs and service providers. On the side, the OWWA conducted free health and wellness services provided by the PNP Medical Team while Certified Massage Therapists from Arlyn L. Basquez Academy of Beauty and Wellness provided free hand, head and back massage to the participants.


Various products of the OFW Family Circles and some Balik-Pinas Balik-Hanapbuhay Program beneficiaries were likewise showcased at the livelihood fair. Among the products displayed were handicrafts, food products, slippers, pillow cases, rugs, laundry soap and powder, among others.


The OWWA Regional Office XI gave recognition to fifty-three (53) Local Government Units in the entire Davao Region thru its Public Service Office (PESO) Managers and OFW Help Desk Coordinators. They were awarded with a Certificate of Recognition for their unwavering support in the promotion of OWWA programs and services through various empowering initiatives for the OFWs and their families.


Mark M. Alipio, a 4th-year B.S. in Radiological Technology student and a  grantee of the Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP) of OWWA received the 2017 Academic Excellence Award for being a consistent Dean’s Lister. Alipio, son of a Domestic Worker in Singapore, was one of the passers of the EDSP competitive examinations held nationwide in 2013. The 21-year old Mark from Monkayo, Compostela Valley Province, received a Plaque and a cash prize worth P3,000.00.


OFW couple Fernando and Lorybeth Alberto were cited for Outstanding Achievement in Entrepreneurship 2017 in Davao Region. They owned a grocery named “KEAN’s Store” in Caraga, Davao Oriental. Both were former OFWs in Taiwan. They decided to come back to the Philippines to establish their own business. They availed of the P2B Reintegration Program of OWWA and was able to secure a loan amounting to P300,000.00 which was used as additional capital for their grocery. Armed with entrepreneurial spirit, they succeeded in their endeavor. Their business became one of the largest grocery stores in the municipality of Caraga, Davao Oriental. They received a Plaque of Recognition and cash prize of P5,000.00.


Likewise, the Tagum City Federation of OFWs and Beneficiaries was awarded as the region’s 2017 Most Outstanding OFW Family Circle for promoting the welfare and well-being of its members through various socio-economic and capacity building interventions. The Plaque of Recognition was received by its Federation President, Mr. Kaizer Obenza including a cash prize of P3,000,00.


Partner government agencies like POEA, DTI, TESDA, DSWD, NBI, Philhealth, SSS, and Pag-IBIG provided basic and substantial information on their respective programs and services. Representatives from each agency addressed the various queries and concerns of the participants.


This year’s social partners like NCCC Mall Davao, Land Bank of the Philippines, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Pag-IBIG Fund, and Paramount Life and General Insurance Corp. were likewise given a Plaque of Appreciation for their invaluable support in ensuring the success of this year’s celebration.


The event was graced by 3rd District Councilor and Chairperson for Migrant Workers Affairs, Hon. Antoinette G. Principe-Castrodes and DOLE XI Assistant Regional Director, Atty. Evelyn R. Ramos representing Regional Director Raymundo G. Agaravante. Both delivered inspirational messages to the participants and showed support to the implementation OWWA’s programs and services.


The Honorable City Mayor, Atty. Sara G. Duterte – Carpio likewise gave her message of support which was read by OWWA XI Programs and Services Division Chief Carmelo T. Elaya.


OWWA-RWO XI Regional Director Eduardo E. Bellido welcomed guests and participants while Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac delivered his message thru audio-video presentation.


The most awaited part of the program was the raffle draw. Each participant was entitled to a raffle coupon and had the chance to win fabulous appliances and cash prizes courtesy of this year’s corporate sponsors. 

The participants from Davao City, Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley Province.
Ribbon-cutting ceremony (from right to left: DOLE XI Assistant Regional Director Evelyn R. Ramos, OWWA XI Regional Eduardo E. Bellido, Councilor and Chairperson for Migrant Affairs Hon. Antoinette G. Principe-Castrodes and representative from RTWPB).
Mark M. Alipio, a 4th-year B.S. in Radiological Technology student and a grantee of the Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP) of OWWA received the 2017 Academic Excellence Award for being a consistent Dean’s Lister.
OFW couple Fernando and Lorybeth Alberto were cited for Outstanding Achievement in Entrepreneurship 2017 in Davao Region.
A Plaque of Recognition was awarded to Tagum City Federation of OFWs and Beneficiaries received by its President, Mr. Kaizer Obenza including a cash prize of P3,000,00.
PESO Managers and OFW Help Desk Coordinators from Davao Oriental received Plaque of Appreciation.
Free medical services rendered by the medical team of PNP XI.


OWWA-ARMM accepts scholarship applications for S.Y. 2018-2019

COTABATO CITY – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration – Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (OWWA-ARMM) continuously accepts scholarship applications for S.Y. 2018-2019.


Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP)

The EDSP is a scholarship grant offered to qualified beneficiaries/dependents of active OWWA members who intend to enroll a 4-5 year baccalaureate course in any preferred colleges/universities. It shall be in the form of financial assistance amounting to a maximum of P 60,000.00 per school year.


This scholarship grant is offered to incoming freshmen and those already enrolled in college.


For incoming freshmen, applicants must be single not more than 21 years old, grade 12 and will graduate in 2018, and must have a General Weighted Average (GWA) of 80% above.


Applicants already enrolled in college must be single not more than 30 years old, must have an average academic rating not lower than 85%, and full load in the last school year, single and not more than 30 years old.


Congressional Migrant Workers Scholarship Program (CMWSP)

The CMWSP is a scholarship program extended to deserving migrant workers and/or their immediate descendants who intend to pursue 4 or 5 year courses in the priority fields in Science and Technology. Educational assistance is P 60,000.00/year funds from the PCSO. The examination is administered by DOST.


Applicants must pass the qualifying exams to be administered by the DOST on October 15, 2017.


Applications to both scholarship programs may be filed at the OWWA-ARMM Regional Office not later than July 31, 2017.


Interested applicants may visit OWWA-ARMM Regional Office at the 2nd Floor, Mags Audio Building, Quezon Avenue, Cotabato City or may contact 09176220140 or (064) 421-7237.



A total of One Hundred Twenty (120) OFWs and dependents from Four (4) accredited OFCs attended the event. It was an initiative of the Lebak - Public OFW Desk Office spearheaded by Mr. Rusty J. Vilo supported by its Local Government Unit, Lebak OFW Family Circles and OWWA - RWO XII.Koronadal City – The Local Government Unit of Lebak in partnership with Overseas Workers Welfare Administration XII celebrated the Localized Migrant Workers Day last July 20, 2017 at Notre Dame of Salaman College Gymnasium, Lebak, Sultan Kudarat   dubbed as "Magkasangga Para sa Kapakanan, Kabuhayan at Kalusugan ng mga OFWs."


The event highlighted the various testimonies of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who shared their experiences of successes and challenges while working in the foreign shores. OFW Harris Ogatis, seafarer for two decades already said "Hindi madali ang trabaho ng isang OFW sa ibang bansa, ito po ay aming kinakaya para sa aming mga mahal na pamilya.Mahirap ang maging isang OFW pero masaya. "


Added to the fun is a Zumba Dance Contest participated by Four (4) OFW Family Circles who wore extravagant costumes, danced to the rhythm of lively music and performed extraordinary dance moves. 


Mr. Rusty J. Vilo, Public OFW Desk Officer, in his message emphasized the importance of the OFWs’ participation in the conduct of various events. He assured the participants that the activity will mark the beginning of more activities for them.


Officer-in-Charge Christelyn R. Caceres extended her salutation to the OFWs in Lebak emphasizing their selfless sacrifices for the betterment of their families left. She assured the participants that the agency will continuously provide innovative and accessible programs and services for them to avail.   


Furthermore, she is very hopeful that other Local Government Units in the region will likewise spearhead worthwhile activities for our Modern Heroes, the Overseas Filipino Workers. 

OFW Family Circles in Lebak with staff from OWWA XII
OFW Harris Ogatis sharing his experiences as an OFW
Participants from Blue Team amazed the audience with their unique dance steps.
Yellow Team actively prepares for their group yell.


The Local Government Unit of Lebak in partnership with its OFW Family Cricles (OFCs) and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration XII spearheaded a Mangrove Planting Activity last April 21, 2017 at Brgy Taguisa, Lebak, Sultan Kudarat.


A total of One Hundred (100) participants comprised of accredited OFW Family Circle members, Police Officers, Municipal Government employees and personnel from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources wherein more than 400 mangrove seedlings were planted during the activity.


Mr. Rusty J. Vilo, Public OFW Desk Officer, extended his gratitude to various stakeholders, especially to OFWs, for their support to the said activity. He emphasized that initiating worthwhile activities for the environment are beyond recognition.


After planting, the OFCs also enjoyed various team building activities facilitated by OWWA XII. It aims to develop teamwork and improve one’s productivity.


Officer-in-Charge Christelyn R. Caceres congratulated the OFCs for the successful conduct of their mangrove planting activity. "Labis po ang aming kasiyahan na makita kayo na gumagawa ng mga kapaki-pakinabang na proyekto na tumutulong matugunan ang problema ng ating kalikasan., she added.


Mangrove forest is the fundamental element in the coastal ecosystem, and by planting some of the mangrove trees on the muddy banks of the river, one can help protect the environment shared by animals and fisher folks in the locality

OFW Erlinda Villar prudently plants a mangrove tree.
OIC Christelyn R. Caceres giving her message to the participants of the Mangrove Panting Activity.
Various stakeholders after the Tree Planting Activity
OFW Carla Castro proudly strikes a pose after she planted almost ten Mangrove Seedlings