You are here

Home » News

Regional News

OWWA-ARMM joins the 2017 National Women’s Month Celebration

COTABATO CITY – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration - Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (OWWA-ARMM) joined the annual celebration of Women's Month last Wednesday, March 8, 2017.


The celebration organized by the Regional Commission on Bangsamoro Women (RCBW-ARMM) kicked off with an early morning parade of ARMM agencies at the ARMM Compound followed by an Opening Program at Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex, ARMM Compound, Cotabato City.

This year's theme “WE Make Change Work for Women” emphasizes that women should be active drivers in bringing about positive changes, and that they should also reap from development efforts. This can be made possible by empowering women – enabling them to meaningfully engage with other development stakeholders, and by fully implementing the Magna Carta of Women (MCW).

OWWA-ARMM Employees during the 2017 Women’s Month parade on March 8, 2017 at ORG Compound, Cotabato City.


OWWA-ARMM joins the Bangsamoro Week of Peace

COTABATO CITY – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration – Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (OWWA-ARMM) together with other agencies, bureaus and offices in ARMM joined in the Bangsamoro Week of Peace opening ceremony today March 13, 2017 at the ORG Compound, Cotabato City.


The theme for this year’s Bangsamoro Week of Peace is “Bangsamoro: Revisiting the Past, Continuing the Cause.”


“Our annual week of peace in the region is a time for us to remember the sacrifices and victories we share as Bangsamoros,” ARMM Governor Mujiv S. Hataman said in a statement.

“In a way, (the Bangsamoro Week of Peace) is an act of resistance against constant attempts to erase our people’s struggle from our nation’s history. The Jabidah Massacre which we will commemorate on the 18th is just one of the many facts we share as Bangsamoros, and yet others insist that it is fiction,” Hataman added.


The said ceremony is the start in a series of events across the region scheduled for the Bangsamoro Week of Peace. Different approaches in discussing the Bangsamoro struggle will be explored, including a photo exhibit, a stage play, and a range of conferences and panel discussions are lined up this week, along with cultural activities.



The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Regional Welfare Office IV-A extends distribution of relief goods/food packs assistance to OFW families who were affected by Typhoon Nina in Lobo, Batangas and San Narciso, Quezon Province.


In cooperation with local government unit and municipal social welfare development offices of Lobo, Batangas and San Narciso, Quezon, the distribution was held last February 2, 2017 and March 7, 2017, respectively.


A total of 200 eligible recipient/beneficiaries received individual packages consisting of rice, noodles, biscuits, and other canned and dry goods from RWO IV-A personnel who personally visited the above calamity areas for relief goods distribution.


RWO IV-A will distribute the next batch of relief operation to affected families in municipalities of Isla Verde in Batangas and Mulanay in Quezon.

Food packs assistance distribution in Lobo, Batangas
Food packs assistance distribution in San Narciso, Quezon



The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office 6 celebrated National Women’s Month by recently handing out tokens to female Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) clients who processed their memberships as part of the Serbisyo Para Kay Juana initiative.


From the morning of March 8, 2017, the first thirty (30) women clients who paid or renewed their memberships at the Iloilo City office were given gift packs by the OWWA staff as gratitude to the services they provided to their country as OFWs.


Serbisyo Para kay Juana is an activity enjoining agencies, Local Government Units, and other organizations offering direct services and other transactions to the public to offer treats like freebies, discounts, or distribution of Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) materials to commemorate the International Women’s Day (IWD) or any chosen dates within March.

Early birds: Ms.Conie H. Binarao, Chief of Programs and Services Division, and the OWWA Region 6 staff personally award the tokens to the lucky OFW clients.


Admin Cacdac-The family is the hope of the OFW

Mr. Hans Leo J. Cacdac, Administrator of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office, was invited to talk at the 31st National Migrants’ Sunday (NMS) held at Iloilo City last March 5, 2017.


In his speech, he reiterated on the agency’s focus on welfare, reintegration and livelihood, and especially on child protection, mentioning that most OFWs go out of the country to primarily support their families.

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

“The family is the most important remittance for an OFW, because they are the reason why they went abroad in the first place,” he said


He announced that OWWA will be holding advocacy campaigns throughout the year that will focus on giving seminars on parenting, values orientation, and early child abuse detection and prevention for the families of OFWs left in the Philippines.

National Capital Region
OWWA RWO-NCR: A Learning Avenue for Interns

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office – National Capital Region (OWWA RWO-NCR) has been the home of the 3 interns from St. Anthony’s College for almost the past 2 months as they ventured all the way from Antique to Manila just to complete their internship program. Now that they have succeeded, it is time for them to return back home and attend their graduation rites.


The said interns, April Joy Sagudaquil, Marville Estorco and Karmalou Sasaki, are graduating Accounting Technology students from St. Anthony’s College located in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique. They started to complete their 240 hours of internship on 23 January 2017 and finished it on 3 March 2017.


According to them, one of the key learnings that they learned is the value of teamwork. They learned the importance of working together as one to function well and how to interact with co-employees professionally. They also learned the importance of being confident and to not be afraid to ask questions especially when they do not understand their task or when they need help. To sum up their whole internship experience, Karmalou Sasaki said, “I consider myself fortunate for having a chance to work with OWWA, it was a great learning experience for me. I value the knowledge and insights I gained in this company.” Meanwhile, according to Marville Estorco and April Joy Sagudaquil, “The experience, lessons and memories I had with OWWA is great. It is tiring sometimes but it is worth it.”


A few days before their internship program ended, their practicum adviser, Ms. Corazon Israel paid them a visit at the office and when asked as to why they chose OWWA RWO-NCR for their internship program, she said that she wanted her students to experience the real working environment and organization. She also added that she wanted them to learn the unique services and programs of OWWA. “I want them to experience how it feels like working in a government agency and to know and understand OWWA’s programs and services as well as to serve our kababayan OFW’s. I want them to excel not only in academics but also in giving service to others.” Ms. Israel said.

Karmalou Sasaki receiving his completion certificate together with OWWA RWO-NCR Director Emma Sinclair, Professor Corazon Israel and AFD OIC Chief Alice Lim
Marville Estorco receiving his completion certificate together with OWWA RWO-NCR Director Emma Sinclair, Professor Corazon Israel and AFD OIC Chief Alice Lim
April Joy Sagudaquil receiving her completion certificate together with OWWA RWO-NCR Director Emma Sinclair, Professor Corazon Israel and AFD OIC Chief Alice Lim
A thank you letter from Karmalou Sasaki to OWWA RWO-NCR Director Emma Sinclair.
From L to R: Marville Estorco and Karmalou Sasaki, interns from St. Anthony’s College, OWWA RWO-NCR Director Emma Sinclair, Practicum Adviser Professor Corazon Israel, Administration and Finance Division Officer-In-Charge Chief Alice Lim, and April Joy Sagudaquil, intern from St. Anthony’s College.


In Ilocos Norte, OFW women’s group make change through eco-bags

This year’s celebration of the National Women’s Month centers on the theme, “women make change,” and a group of women overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte embodies just that, by creating bags which are not only eco-friendly, but women-friendly too.


The Bacarra OFW Association, or BOFWA, has been making bags out of cheap rice sacks and textiles since August 2016, and this project helped provide livelihood and income to women OFW returnees and OFW dependents in the town.


This project came into being when the BOFWA was granted with a funding worth P500, 000 through the Bottoms-up Budgeting from the Department of Labor and Employment and the Local Government Unit of Bacarra, Ilocos Norte. The association applied for the program in 2014, and was granted with the fund the following year. In October 2016, the BOFWA also received additional P100,000 from the LGU Bacarra to serve as their operating fund.


An active partner of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, the BOFWA received equipment and materials to launch the project, which has been benefiting the association’s more than 50 members, most of them women.


“The members work together in the different stages of the project. Some work as sewers and pattern-makers, while others help in the marketing and selling of the products,” said BOFWA President Flordeliza Aceret.


The bags are sold from as low as P10 to P300, depending on the size. For every bag sold, each member who contributed in the project gets an income share.


“Some members could earn as high as P3,000 per month, especially when orders come in influx. Just like now, we are working on the 220 pieces of bags ordered by the Department of Agriculture for its special event,” tells Aceret.


The project does not only promote economic empowerment to the women members, but it also puts forward the group’s “green” advocacy.


“Our products are made of used rice sacks which are otherwise trash for rice dealers. Once used, the sacks are no longer durable to store rice grains again” says Aceret. “We then buy these kinds of sacks, and turn trash into money.”


The group cuts and sews the sacks into different sizes, accentuates with colorful textiles, and turns them into fashionable bags of various kinds, such as coin purse, vanity kits, to even large shoulder bags.


The BOFWA has also distributed their products in the Bacarra Public Market, in support to the town’s ban on plastic bags. “We encourage market-goers to shift into the use of eco-bags like our products, instead of the plastic bags which are not environment-friendly,” says Aceret.


The BOFWA hopes their project will grow and expand. “With our bags, we hope to bring change. We will work hard until everyone bags the fruit of OFW women empowerment,” shares Aceret. (JPM)

The BOFWA, headed by its president Flordeliza Aceret (in pink), has been making bags out of cheap rice sacks and textiles since August 2016. Among the group’s products are coin purse, vanity kits, and shoulder bags.
The Bacarra Overseas Filipino Workers’ Association (BOFWA) provides livelihood to the its members, composed mostly of women OFW returnees, through this eco-bag making project, launched when the group received P500,000 from the Bottoms-Up Budgeting from the Department of Labor and Employment and the Local Government of Bacarra, Ilocos Norte.
The BOFWA was granted with a funding worth P500, 000 through the Bottoms-up Budgeting from the Department of Labor and Employment and the Local Government Unit of Bacarra, Ilocos Norte. The association applied for the program in 2014, and was granted with the fund the following year. In October 2016, the BOFWA also received additional P100,000 from the LGU Bacarra to serve as their operating fund.



Koronadal City – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration XII in partnership with the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency – Satellite Office (POEA) kick-offs the 2017 International Women’s Month today( March 8, 2017) at One-Stop Service Center for OFWs (OSSCO), City Hall of Koronadal City.


A total of Forty (40) women Overseas Filipino Workers and dependents processing their Balik-Manggagawa were given a rose, a souvenir item and later serenaded by the male employees of OWWA XII. The activity was also attended by partner agencies in the One-Stop Service Center for OFWs, namely: Social Security System (SSS), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), PAG-IBIG, Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) and Technical Education and Skills Authority (TESDA).

Ms. Emerita B. Germo of POEA XII during her welcome message

Ms. Emerita B. Germo, Sr. Leo of POEA in her welcome message emphasized the vast contribution of women in the development of the world. "Anuman ang kaya ng mga lalaki ay kaya na rin nating mga babae. Ang kababaihan ay isa sa mga dahilan ng patuloy na pag-angat ng ating bansa at patuloy na pagbabago ng bawat isa ", she added.


As part of its month-long celebration, the agency is set to conduct worthwhile activities like the Adopt-a-Center for a Day Program on March 17, 2017 at General Santos City, Critical Incidence Stress Debriefing in coordination with DSWD XII to identified distressed and displaced OFWs on March 23, 2017 at Koronadal City and Blood – Letting activity in partnership with Philippine Red Cross on March 28, 2017 at OWWA XII Office. As of this writing, women walk-in clients are given flowers and treats.

OWWO II Jenny U. Umag giving flower to an OFW.

Acting SAO Kimmy A. Lopez in her message said, "This is one of the celebrations honouring women’s contribution to our society. May all of us, women together with men, continue to work hand-in-hand, side-by-side towards a progressive and peaceful community."


This year’s theme "WE Make Change Work for Women" aims to inform and engage women in the well-being of the society, create and facilitate platforms in pursuing gender and development and empower women to be agents of change.


The International Women’s Month celebration is part of the agency’s annual activity in order to show salutation and respect to Women OFWs all over the world.


National Capital Region
OWWA RWO-NCR and PRAs Tackle PDEP Improvements

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration – National Capital Region (OWWA-NCR) conducted the consultation meeting with the owners, operation managers and liaison officers of different Philippine Recruitment Agencies (PRA) deploying Household Service Workers (HSWs) to Middle East and Chinese Speaking Countries to orient them on the procedures to improve the implementation of the Pre-Departure Education Program (PDEP) on 15-16 February 2017.


The Pre-departure Education Program (PDEP) is composed of the Comprehensive Pre-departure Education Program (CPDEP) and the Pre-departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) which are mandatory orientation/training given to all departing Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in order to prepare them for work overseas.    


Ms. Ma. Teresa Capa, Chief of the Program Services Division (PSD), and Mr. Eduardo Mendoza Jr., CPDEP Training Program Manager spearheaded the meeting. According to PSD Chief, PDEP is a shared responsibility between the private sector and the government which aims to empower the Household Service Workers by equipping them knowledge on their rights and be familiar with the culture of the country of their destination.

From L to R: PSD Chief Ma. Teresa Capa, talks about issues and concerns and answers frequently asked questions about CPDEP, while CPDEP Training Program Manager Mr. Eduardo Y. Mendoza Jr. further addressed the most common issues of PRAs while enrolling their recruits.

Discussion during the meeting focused on the OWWA procedures for the PRAs to follow in the accreditation of liaison officers and enrolling their HSW-recruits. The issues on attendance of trainees, re-trainings, tampering and late distribution of enrolment cards and request for early schedule of training were also discussed. One of the attendees raised the sentiment of some of the agencies that they do not like the policy of requiring the trainees/recruits attend the seminars because of delay in sending them abroad immediately. Ms. Capa explained that under the POEA Memorandum Circular No. 10 and 11, it is a requirement that the HSWs should attend the CPDEP and PDOS training prior to issue of the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC). She also added the importance of the training since the HSWs are most vulnerable to abuse and maltreatment at jobsites.


In conclusion, Ms. Capa said, “Maraming, maraming salamat sa pagpunta niyo at inaasahan namin na sana itong naging consultation meeting natin ay maging makabuluhan para tayo ay magkatulungan, dahil hindi lang ito obligasyon ng gobyerno kung di pati na rin ng mga private recruitment agencies dahil ito ay shared responsibility para sa kapakanan ng ating mga kababayang OFWs.”

Around 200 representatives from different Philippine Recruitment Agencies attended the meeting conducted by OWWA-NCR.

National Capital Region
OWWA RWO-NCR Building Stronger Partnerships with LBP and DTI

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office – National Capital Region (OWWA RWO-NCR) officers met with the representatives of the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on 14 February 2017 to strengthen its partnerships in improving the delivery of the OFW Enterprise Development and Loan Program (EDLP) to the OFWs and their families.


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


RWO-NCR Director Emma V. Sinclair presided the meeting in discussing the role of each participating office/bank for better delivery of the EDLP. Some of the topics discussed during the meeting were the different types of business project proposals for the program, the documentary requirements needed by the applicant to avail of the loan and the possibility of allowing the loan borrower to apply for a loan again once the previous loan has been fully paid.

From L to R: Mr. Zandro Almendrala presenting the EDLP; Mr. Jose Aryiel Castor, Department Manager/Overseas Representative Officer of the Land Bank of the Philippines, clarifying some issues on the loan policy.

The frequently asked questions received from the EDLP applicants were thoroughly discussed so that RWO-NCR, LBP and DTI would have specific answers to queries. Also, several issues about the program were discussed to further improve the implementation of the program. The RWO-NCR Director requested LBP and DTI representatives to provide a list of new business opportunities for guidance of the applicants.


To end the meeting, the representatives of OWWA RWO-NCR, DTI and LBP all agreed to conduct a monthly consultation meeting in order to ensure that the program is delivered effectively.

From first row L to R: Annaliza Estrada, from the Reintegration Unit, Dahlia Nuñez and Mary Joy Mojica from DTI, Joshua Agner, Jose Aryiel Castor and Francis Fellone from LBP, OWWA RWO-NCR Director Emma Sinclair, PSD Chief Ma. Teresa Capa, Cristina Gutierrez from LBP, Zandro Almendrala, Head of Reintegration Unit, Ronaldo Robles from LBP and from the 2nd row L to R:  Aaron Joseph Abad, Erik Ripalda, Rolando Pocholo Talento, Veah Fleurdeliz Escote and Krysha Maree Ablis from the Reintegration Unit.