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OWWA IX Successfully Held Its Capability Building/Convergence Programs

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office IX (OWWA RWO-IX) conducted the Capability Building/Convergence Programs on December 2-3, 2016 at Lutong Pinoy Resort, Tugbungan, Zamboanga City. There were 150 participants from the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), OFW leaders, One-Stop Service Center for OFWs (OSSCO), government agencies, and institutional partners.


The Capability Building/Convergence Programs is a two-day information dissemination activity to broaden the awareness of our beloved OFWs regarding the various programs and services that the government offers for them.


OWWA IX Regional Director Hassan Gabra T. Jumdain commenced the event with his opening remarks and acknowledgement of participants. Regional Director Jumdain gave an overview of what the program is all about and stated the agenda of the said activity. He also gave a salute to the new heroes of our time. “Mabuhay ang mga manggagawa sa ibayong dagat. Mabuhay ang mga OFW!” said Jumdain.  


On the first day, the government agencies and institutional partners were given 30 minutes each to present their respective key programs and services for OFWs. They were the following: Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA); Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA); Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund); Land Bank of the Philippines; Philippine National Bank; Professional Regulation Commission (PRC); Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA); National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC); Social Security System (SSS); Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC); Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC); Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth); and National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO).  


After the presentation, there was a testimony and sharing of best practices from a successful OFW. Jackie Lou Abejaron was the successful seafarer who won in second place for the Business Plan Competition 2016 with her “Hermosa Weaving” business plan. Abejaron shared her story and left an inspiring advice to her fellow OFWs in creating a successful business, “dapat hindi lang ikaw makakabenefit, kailangan makakatulong ka din sa komunidad mo”.      


The first day session ended with an open forum to give the audience an opportunity to ask questions and clarifications. The participants were also given brochures, flyers, and application forms from the different government agencies and institutional partners.


On the second day of activity, two resource speakers were invited to discuss the most pressing issues in our society and in our government today. The first subject matter is R.A. 8042, “The Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 as Amended by R.A. 10022” which was presented by Professor Atty. Aysar T. Amilbangsa. The second issue is Mindanao in a Federal Setup under the Duterte Administration which was discussed by Undersecretary Senior Adviser of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Atty. Jose I. Lorena. The second day was a half-day activity which ended with an open forum and the closing remarks from Regional Director Jumdain.  For more information on how to avail of OWWA’s programs and services, visit our office at 3rd Floor Goodwill Center, Mayor Jaldon St., Canelar, Zamboanga City or contact us at (062) 991-2785.



OWWA RWO-IX Regional Director Hassan Gabra T. Jumdain
POEA Region IX Director Marietta Bellotindos
TESDA Specialist II Greg Flores
TESDA Region IX Director Lorenzo G. Macapili
Beder F. Morandarte Jr., Head of Zamboanga Member Services Branch, Pag-IBIG Fund
Land Bank of the Philippines Account Officer Jaydee N. Bongon
Arnel A. Mariano, Program Manager, Global Marketing Division, Global Filipino Banking Group, of Philippine National Bank
PRC Senior Professional Regulations Officer Nora A. Siason
TIEZA Travel Tax Department Manager Florencio “Butch” Abenes
Wahab Abdulwahid of NLRC Region IX
SSS Senior Communications Analyst Napoleon R. Rabanal II
Cerna Ahmad, ECC Regional Extension Unit No. 9 Information Officer II
Erlisli A. Luceñada of PhilHealth Regional Office IX
Master of Ceremony Jazmin Cinco-Panelo from DOLE IX
NRCO Regional Reintegration Coordinator Sherwin R. Mendizabel
Seafarer Jackie Lou Abejaron, who won in second place for the Business Plan Competition 2016
Government agencies and institutional partners during the open forum
Participants in the Capability Building
Atty. Aysar T. Amilbangsa
Undersecretary Senior Adviser of OPAPP Atty. Jose I. Lorena

OWWA-ARMM Awards Skills-for-Employment Scholarship Program

COTABATO CITY – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration – Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (OWWA-ARMM) awarded the Skills-for-Employment Scholarship Program (SESP) to qualified OFWs and their beneficiaries last November 3, 2016 at OWWA-ARMM Regional Welfare Office.


OWWA-ARMMs Overseas Worker Welfare Officer III Bai Lejanie D. Vidal and Administrative Aide Mary Joy S. Aba oriented the scholars about the nature of the program, financial assistance, courses offered, and the general guidelines of the said program.


SESP is offered to active OFWs and their legal dependents who wish to enroll in a 6-month or 1-year technical vocational courses in any TESDA-accredited training institution.


SESP scholars are entitled to an actual cost of tuition/training fees but shall not exceed to Php 14,500/course, regardless of the duration of the training program taken.


Among the courses offered are the PC Operation and Computer Hardware Servicing, Electrical Installation Maintenance, Automotive Servicing with Driving, Health Care Services, Care Giving, Massage Therapy, Housekeeping, Food and Beverages Services, Bartending, Commercial Cooking, and many others.


After completing the course, the scholars must pass the Competency Assessment Test administered by Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) or its accredited testing center and will be awarded the National Certificate II (NC II). The certificate is a common requirement for skill-oriented local and overseas jobs.


Skills-for-Employment Scholarship Program is offered twice a year every semester following the regular school year calendar.


Interested applicants may visit OWWA-ARMM Regional Welfare Office at the 2nd Floor, Mags Audio Building, Quezon Avenue, Cotabato City.

Batch 69 IT graduates thankful to OWWA-ARMM

COTABATO CITY – A total of twenty two (22) Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and dependents from the province of Maguindanao graduated in the Information Technology (IT) Training Program - Batch 69 of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration - Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (OWWA-ARMM) last November 3, 2016 at OWWA-ARMM Regional Welfare Office, Cotabato City.


IT Training Program is a computer literacy program which provides OFWs and their dependents training and access to technology that is intended to bridge the communication gap between the OFW and his/her family and allow them to communicate with each other through the Internet. The program also aims to upgrade their IT skills.


Among the courses offered in the program are Computer Fundamentals 1, Computer Fundamentals 2, Internet and World Wide Web (WWW) Fundamentals, Digital Media Fundamentals, Web Design Fundamentals, Word Processing Fundamentals, Presentation Fundamentals, Database Fundamentals, Spreadsheet Fundamentals, and Lenovo.


During the ceremony, IT graduates took the chance to express their heartfelt gratitude to OWWA for having this kind of training program.


Ms. Sheilie S. Layos said, “Malaki po ang naitulong ng IT Program sa akin at sa ibang mga OFWs. Ito po ang unang hakbang at magiging daan para marating namin ang magandang kinabukasan.”


Ako po ay taos pusong nagpapasalamat sa tanggapan ng OWWA sampu ng kanilang mga mabubuting manggagawa. Sana po ay marami pa kayong matulungang OFWs at pamilya nila”, she added.


OWWA-ARMM Regional Director Amy B. Crisostomo inspired the graduates as they journey the new chapter of their lives.


“The knowledge that you gained from this training, you must keep it, save it, and use it as an instrument to climb the ladder of success”, Director Crisostomo said.

All smiles from the Batch 69 IT Training Program Graduates.


OFC-Organizing in Lawaan and Catbalogan City

With the increasing number of OFWs in the Region, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration-Regional Welfare Office VIII, organized two OFW Family Circles in the Provinces of Western and Eastern Samar last October 17 and 21, 2016 respectively.


Twenty-five (25) OFWs and beneficiaries were able to attend the OFC organizing activity in Catbalogan City, Samar and twenty-eight (28) attended in Brgy. Bolusao, Lawaan, Eastern Samar.


FWO Jenelyn Gacus discussed the proposed organizations constitution and by-laws of Catbalogan Overseas Workers and Families Association (COWFA). They elected their first set of officers for their organization. They are as follow President: Hilda L. Samonte, V-President: Reynaldo A. Duzon, Secretary: Gisela Polido, Treasurer: Sozeta S.


Labendia, Auditor: Bonifacio A. Tamayo, PIO: Josefina D. San Miguel and Bookkeeper: Yolanda R. Canedo.


COWFA members also agreed to have their monthly meeting on the third Saturday of the month to update their members with the association’s plans and projects.


The Bolusao OFWs and Beneficiaries Association (BOBA) in Lawaan, Eastern Samar also elected their set of officers as follow: President: Francisco Catalogo, Vice-President Noel Galera, Secretary Elsie Yangao, Treasurer Lorna Bumaltao, Auditors, Richardson Villamin and Racky Litang, PIO Roselyn Evina and Bookkeeper Darly Gabito.


As the newest OFC members they are looking forward to attend to the Family Day Celebration of the agency this December.


Establishing these OFCs will help the Agency provide services to more OFWs and their families in the said areas.

(FWO Jessabel Lucinario discussing to the participants the Programs and Services of OWWA (left))
(Participants for the organizing in Lawaan, Eastern Samar attentively listening to Ms. Lucinario’s  discussion of OWWA’s Programs and Services)


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

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


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


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


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


From Arki to BA


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


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


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


Academics and organizations


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


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


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


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




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


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


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


Looking forward


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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


University life


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


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


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


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


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


EDSP scholarship


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


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


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




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


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


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


Looking forward


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


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


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


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

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

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

OWWA Orients Newly-Formed OFW Association in Dagupan City

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


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


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


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


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

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


OWWA Provides Financial Assistance To The Family of John Earl

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


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


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


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


2016 OFW Family Day

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


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


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


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

Figure 1. OWWA Personnel giving out the door prizes. 

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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