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RWO I
In La Union, OFW Org Saves Up for Rainy Days

Hard work and prudence are values akin to the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). And with all the sacrifices in their toils abroad, they sure know the essence of saving up and preparing for the future.

 

These values are just what the Bannuar ti La Union- Immayos Chapter is upholding as an organization. Driven with cooperation and unity, the group of OFWs and their families in Sitio Immayos, Brgy. San Jose, Sudipen, La Union is aimed at ensuring the future while being relevant to the community.

 

And thanks to the OFW Groceria Project granted to them by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) a decade ago, the Bannuar-Immayos members are now seeing the fulfillment of their visions as an organization.

 

In 2005, the Bannuar-Immayos received P50,000 worth of goods as startup for their OFW Groceria Project. This program launched by the OWWA in 2004 served to improve the socio-economic situation of the OFWs and their families through livelihood and self-employment opportunities. At zero-percent interest rate, the loan program helped OFW organizations in the country put up livelihood in the form of grocery stores.

 

The Bannuar-Immayos has completed its payment for the loan in 2008. Today, the project remains to be a robust source of income to the organization members, which have grown from 45 during its foundation in 2004 to 75 this year.

 

The grocery store registered an amount of P258, 497 as total assets in 2014. It’s total sales amount for the same year was P620,275.

 

The organization’s President, Mr. Alfonso Calderon, sees these figures as proof to the success of the groceria in Immayos. “This project is not only beneficial to the organization, but to our community as a whole,” says Mr. Calderon, who is an ex-OFW as carpenter in Saudi Arabia in the 1980s. He cites that with the grocery store nearby, Immayos residents didn’t have to travel far to the town’s public market to buy their goods.

 

Through the years, the Bannuar-Immayos has grown more dynamic as it ventured into other business opportunities. It also now adopts a lending system that lets members borrow an amount up to P10,000 with a two-percent interest rate per month. “We have no delinquent borrowers,” Mr. Calderon proudly shares.

 

The Immayos Groceria has also now expanded on its merchandise, which now includes livestock feeds, rice retails, and over-the-counter medicines. The store’s goods are replenished twice a week, as deliveries come in every Mondays and Thursdays.

 

Just as any other business ventures, the Immayos Groceria has encountered challenges as well. These include a robbing incident a few years back, and the thriving of business competitions in their village.

 

Despite the challenges, the organization strives to be of service to the community. As such, it has supported and co-sponsored the construction of a chapel, public comfort room, and jetmatic pumps, which now benefits the rest of Sitio Immayos.

 

The Bannuar-Immayos hopes to create greater impacts to the community in the coming years, and Mr. Calderon and his colleagues envision their organization to grow more relevant, productive and responsive to the concerns of its OFW members and their families.

 

OWWA Regional Welfare Office I, meanwhile, reiterates its support to the noble goals of the Bannuar-Immayos. “OWWA will always give a helping hand,” OWWA RWOI OIC Rhoda Nilda Placida R. Lee tells the organization members in a visit on June 23, 2015. “With your unity and dedication,” OIC Lee imparts, “the future of the Bannuar-Immayos is certainly bright.” 

OWWA RWOI OIC Rhoda Nilda Placida R. Lee (rightmost) examine the merchandise sold at the OFW Groceria Project by the Bannuar ti La Union-Immayos Chapter, an OFW Organization in Sitio Immayos, Brgy. San Jose, Sudipen, La Union. Also in the photo are (left to right) Ms. Vera Andrei O. Ladio, La Union Family Welfare Officer; Ms. Edna B. Valdez, President of Coalition of OFWs Associations in La Union; and, Mr. Alfonso M. Calderon, President of the Bannuar-Immayos.

OWWA RWOI OIC Rhoda Nilda Placida R. Lee (middle) consults with Mr. Alfonso M. Calderon, President of the Bannuar ti La Union-Immayos Chapter, about the project OFW Groceria Project in Sitio Immayos, San Jose, Sudipen, La Union.

A boys buys goods from the OFW Groceria of the Bannuar-Immayos Chapter, an OFW Organization in Sitio Immayos, San Jose, Sudipen, La Union. The grocery store is part of the OWWA program launched in 2004 to improve the socio-economic situation of the OFWs and their families through livelihood and self-employment opportunities.

OWWA RWOI officers led by OIC Rhoda Nilda Placida R. Lee (4th from left) and the members of the Bannuar ti La Union-Immayos Chapter, led by Mr. Alfonso M. Calderon (7th from left) pose for posterity in front of the OFW Groceria Project in Sitio Immayos, Brgy. San Jose, Sudipen, La Union.

Mr. Alfonso M. Calderon, President of the Bannuar ti La Union-Immayos Chapter, (rightmost) talks about the OFW Groceria Project  to OWWA RWOI OIC Rhoda Nilda Placida R. Lee (2nd from right) and others during a meeting on June 23, 2015.

RWO CARAGA
OWWA orients 76 new scholars in Caraga

BUTUAN CITY, July 1 – With objective to provide sufficient awareness in granting of scholarship for OFW dependents, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA-13) recently conducted a series of scholarship orientations in various provinces of Caraga.

 

This school year’s, seventy six grantees under the Overseas Filipino Workers Dependent Scholarship Program (OFWDSP) jointly attended the said orientation with their parents and guardians.

 

Scholarship Coordinator Rodel Deligero of OWWA Caraga, cited the rationale of the activity and conducted program advocacy to broaden the understanding of the participants of the agency’s programs and services.

 

Deligero also facilitated the signing of scholarship agreement. He likewise exhaustively discussed the provisions of said agreement including the scholarship program regulations and implementing guidelines to enlighten the scholars and their guardians of their roles and responsibilities in order to continue with the scholarship.

 

Moreover, Officer-in-Charge of the Programs and Services Division Ma. Ireen Cambaling encouraged the scholars to do well in their academics not only to sustain the educational grant but also to pay tribute to their OFW parents.

 

“Pagbutihin ninyo ang inyong pag-aaral at gawin ninyo itong regalo sa inyong parents or guardians for their sacrifices,” Cambaling said.

 

Cambaling also hopes that all the OFWDSP availees will graduate as OWWA scholars.

 

OFWDSP is an educational grant that offers financial assistance not to exceed PhP20, 000.00 per one-school term to qualified dependents of lowly paid migrant workers. Availee of the scholarship grant may enroll in any 4-year to 5-year baccalaureate course or associate course leading to a baccalaureate or associate degree in a state college or university. 

OFWDSP scholars in Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur 

OFWDSP scholars in Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Island Provinces with their parents/guardians take a pose together with OWWA staff after the scholarship orientation and signing of scholarship agreement in Surigao City. 

Signing of scholarship agreement

OIC, PSD Ma. Ireen Cambaling delivers a message during the OFWDSP orientation held in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur

RWO IV-A
OWWA RWO IV-A Aides 10K Frap to 455 Libya & Yemen Repatriates

RWO IV-A aides 316 OFW repatriates from Libya and 139 from Yemen with financial assistance of PhP 10,000.00 each under OWWA’s Financial Relief Assistance Program (FRAP) for OFWs who were displaced from work as a result of political conflict in Libya and Yemen from the period of January 5 to June 30, 2015.

 

This one-time FRAP aimed at giving immediate financial assistance as OFWs are experiencing drastic economic and social adjustment brought about by the unanticipated work disruption and displacement. Said financial relief assistance is part of the agency’s crisis intervention to the displaced OFWs.

 

In addition to the monetary assistance, OFWs were also extended other post repatriation services such as airport assistance, temporary shelter and transport services which are in line with the components of the Assist WELL Program of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). The same is intended to give Welfare, Employment, Livelihood and Legal assistance to repatriated OFWs coming from countries afflicted by war and other crises. 

FWOs Mae Jacila and Kenneth Manalili give full accommodation to Libya and Yemen repatriates availing the 10K FRAP

RWO XI
RD Bellido promotes OWWA programs and services in Davao Oriental through radio guesting

Davao Oriental – OWWA-RWO XI Regional Director Eduardo E. Bellido guested at 91.5 Sunrise Gold FM in Mati City, Davao Oriental last June 29, 2015 to promote the programs and services of OWWA. The program was anchored by Mati City Councilor Alfonso “Bong” Alcantara.

 

In his program “Isumbong Kang Papa Bong”,  Councilor Alcantara announced that OWWA already has presence in Davao Oriental particularly in Mati City. In his interview, Dir. Bellido further discussed that OWWA conducts financial literacy and management to the OFWs and their families to guide them in the proper management of their finances. Likewise, he discussed the reintegration program, social benefits, scholarship, repatriation, livelihood, and welfare assistance program. When asked about the interventions of OWWA to maintain solidarity and constant communication between the OFWs and their families, Dir. Bellido said that OWWA regularly conducts search for the  Model OFW Family of the Year to give recognition to deserving OFW and their families to serve as an inspiration to the other OFWs.  

 

As a public servant, Councilor Alcantara catered to complaints of OFW families in his program and referred it to OWWA and DOLE for appropriate action.

 

In the same event, Dir. Bellido was able to assist an OFW dependent who seeks assistance for his wife having unstable behavior after being repatriated from Saudi Arabia. The husband was advised by Dir. Bellido to coordinate with Family Welfare Officer Albert G. Salazar for the immediate referral to the Psychiatric unit of SPMC in Davao City for proper treatment.

 

Councilor Bong was elated by the presence of Dir. Bellido in his program.  He said that he will be happy to serve OFWs and their families who will come to his program for assistance. Dir. Bellido on the other hand, welcomed referrals of Councilor Bong and assured immediate and appropriate assistance for them. 

Interview with Regional Director Eduardo E. Bellido during the radio program  of Councilor Bong Alcantara.  Dir. Bellido discussed updates on the programs and services of OWWA and other OFW concerns.

Dir. Bellido provided immediate assistance to  OFW dependent  during the radio interview.

RWO X
OWWA Attends OFC’s 5th Year Anniv

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY --- Inspired by the theme, “By our works we show our faith”, Lugait Parish Migrants Ministry, one of the active Overseas Filipino Workers’ Family Circles (OFCs) in Misamis Oriental, celebrated their 5th Year Annual Assembly last 20 June 2015 at St. Joseph Function Hall, Lugait Misamis Oriental.

 

In accordance to OWWA’s mission and vision of promoting the well-being of OFWs and their families’ through strengthening and expanding the package of services, OWWO II Mr. Richie James Uy updated the organization with OWWA’s programs and services and grateful for their continuous support and partnership. 

 

The program started off with a Eucharistic Celebration led by Rev. Fr. Glenn P. Pimentel followed by his welcome message. Subsequently, a treasurer and secretary’s report was conducted before the election of the new set of officers started.  The event ended with an open forum for any development plan for the next projects of the organization to make. 

 

RWO CARAGA
OWWA gives livelihood skills training to Bayugan City OFC

BUTUAN CITY, June 29 – In its endeavor to capacitate its member OFWs with essential skills for livelihood augmentation, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Regional Welfare Office Caraga in partnership with the Philippine Coconut Authority recently afforded the members of Bayugan City United OFWs and Family Association (BCUOFA) a two day skills training on Virgin Coconut Oil and Coco Products Processing held in Bayugan City.

 

Coconut Production and Regulation Officer III Ernalyn Colon and Coconut Development Officer Ronald S. Musico of PCA Caraga, facilitated the training to some twenty five (25) participants.

 

Among the finished products presented during the culmination activity include: Virgin Coconut Oil, Bucarillo, Bukayo, Macaroons, Buko pie and vinegar sauce, which is still on the process phase.

 

Henry Villamor, President of Bayugan City OFC expressed his gratitude to OWWA for providing them their first organizational development training.

 

“Thank you OWWA for all your efforts, we are very proud that you really came here for us,” Villamor said in local dialect.

 

Villamor also conveyed his gratefulness to the resource speakers for sharing their learning to them. “The training imparted to us that there are many simple means to make use of the coconut in order to increase our daily household income,” he added.

 

In his message, regional director Samuel Madrid of OWWA Caraga congratulated all the participants for satisfactorily completing the two day training. He also appreciated the support extended by the City Government of Bayugan City through its Public Service Employment Office headed by Vice Mayor Charles Anggayong, as well as the efforts of the resource speakers for the realization of the said activity.

 

Madrid disclosed that in the Province of Agusan del Sur, it was first time for OWWA together with PCA to conduct the said techno transfer in Bayugan City. Further, Madrid bared that this endeavor of the government primarily aims to alleviate poverty.

 

Sana ito ay hindi katapusan ng inyong mga enhancement trainings or skills trainings, kundi sana ito ay maging panimula ng inyong continuing educational process,” Madrid told the members of Bayugan City United OFWs and Family Association. 

 

Participants make their own version of coco food products



Participants present their finished coco products during the culmination activity of the training

National Capital Region
RWO-NCR EDSP SCHOLAR TOPS GRADUATING CLASS OF 2015

The Regional Welfare Office-National Capital Region (RWO-NCR) recognized Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP) Batch 8 scholar John Eris B. Alvarez who graduated Cum Laude at the Philippine State College of Aeronautics with a degree in BS Aviation Electronics Technology.

 

The 20 year old EDSP scholar is the second in the family of three from Hagonoy, Taguig City. His father works in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a cook.

 

Eris, who graduated last March, was delighted to be part of the Batch 12 EDSP Orientation Seminar in which he was to impart an inspirational message to the newest batch of EDSP Scholars.

 

According to Eris, being an OWWA scholar made him become a better leader.

 

“During my time as an OWWA Scholar I have attended many leadership trainings that boosted my confidence in dealing with other people around me. It also enable me to train my interpersonal skills which I can use in my future endeavors.”

 

Eris is now on-going an On-the-Job training in order to pursue his career in Aviation Technology.

 

John Eris Alvarez is one of the successful OWWA scholars who have finished college with flying colors.

 

The Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP) is a scholarship grant available to qualified dependents of active OWWA member OFWs who shall enroll in any 4 or 5 year baccalaureate course in any CHED accredited school anywhere in the country.


John Eris B. Alvarez takes the stage as he delivers his message to upcoming freshmen college students in the recent EDSP scholars orientation.

National Capital Region

2 Billion OFW Reintegration Program Story:  Succeeding with Clothing

(Left to right) OFW Reintegration Fund Beneficiary Ms. Nancy R. Santos together with  Raymund Leonor of RWO-NCR holding up a finished product of her  factory, Ms. Nancy checking the work of one of her workers, Ms. Nancy R. Santos   showing another product made by her workers (inset)

            OFW Benjamin R. Santos Jr. 38, has been an OFW for 10 years in United Kingdom. Due to his children’s schooling, Benjamin and his wife Nancy decided to expand their        business to help them earn more for their     family needs.

            The couple first heard about the OFW          Reintegration Fund Program (ORP) through       Benjamin’s co-workers who tried to avail of the loan. After applying in October 2012, and     submitting all the requirements, the couple    received their loan which amounts to             Php 300,000.00 from the Land Bank of the          Philippines.

            “Applying for the loan was actually very      simple. Once you have completed the requirements you will be able to receive the cash you  loaned for.” Nancy remarked.

            Aside from making school uniforms, the     Santos's are also sub-contractors for            well-known local brands like Hammerhead, Paddocks and BNY Jeans.

            “The garments industry is very            demanding especially with so many clothes that costs much cheaper,                 but since my husband who works as a  tailor in United Kingdom is passionate about tailoring, we have managed to make sure that every product coming from us is of good    quality.”

            Barlex Garments started with two     sewing machines and Php 20,000.00 as initial capital. After seven years in the business they now have a total of 18 workers and earns at least Php 20,000-30,000 a month.

             “Napakalaki ng naitulong ng OWWA sa amin, dahil sa loan nakapag-expand kami ng business, dumami ang aming kliyente, lumaki ang kita ng negosyo at higit sa lahat nakapagtapos na kami ng dalawang anak namin ng Kolehiyo.” Mrs. Nancy Santos happily remarked.

            The 2 Billion Reintegration Fund for business enterprise development is a loan facility in partnership with Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines, where a member or their legal dependent can avail of a loan           between Php 300,000.00 to Php 2 million. 

National Capital Region

2 Billion OFW Reintegration Program Story: Ching’s Flower shop

Family Welfare Officers ‘ Carlyn  Dunca and Raymund Leonor  together with Mrs. Conchita Balasanos  owner of Ching’s Flower shop located  in San  Juan city.

                What makes a flower shop a profitable         business? “Nagbebenta na po ako ng bulaklak for 20 years, kaya alam ko na magandang business ang pagkakaroon ng flower shop.” Mrs. Conchita Balasanos said.

            OFW Ramon Balasanos, 49, an OFW for  12 years  and his  wife Conchita have been     inclined in flower arranging for a very long time. As a matter of fact Ramon is employed as a    Florist in a flower shop based in Bahrain, while his wife Conchita was a former flower shop     vendor in their community.  

            “Matagal na namin gustong magkaroon ng    pwesto kaya nung nalaman ko na pwedeng     mag-loan sa OWWA ng pang-puhunan,           nag–apply agad kami sa ORP (OFW                 Reintegration Program) at nag-submit ng         requirements. After ng pagbisita ng Land Bank for Credit Investigation, nag-release na din sila ng pera .“

            The 300,000 was used to purchase a  flower refrigerator and flowers. According to  Conchita one of the reasons they are still in   business is because they ensure that the flowers they sell stays fresh. 

                What makes a flower shop a profitable         business? “Nagbebenta na po ako ng bulaklak for 20 years, kaya alam ko na magandang business ang pagkakaroon ng flower shop.” Mrs. Conchita Balasanos said.

            OFW Ramon Balasanos, 49, an OFW for  12 years  and his  wife Conchita have been     inclined in flower arranging for a very long time. As a matter of fact Ramon is employed as a    Florist in a flower shop based in Bahrain, while his wife Conchita was a former flower shop     vendor in their community.  

            “Matagal na namin gustong magkaroon ng    pwesto kaya nung nalaman ko na pwedeng     mag-loan sa OWWA ng pang-puhunan,           nag–apply agad kami sa ORP (OFW                 Reintegration Program) at nag-submit ng         requirements. After ng pagbisita ng Land Bank for Credit Investigation, nag-release na din sila ng pera .“

            The 300,000 was used to purchase a  flower refrigerator and flowers. According to  Conchita one of the reasons they are still in   business is because they ensure that the flowers they sell stays fresh.

National Capital Region

RWO-NCR orients newest batch of EDSP scholars

(Left to Right) Education and Training Unit (ETU) Head, Vivian Velez is discussing to Education for Development Scholars how to avoid the termination of their scholarship grants. Ms. Lynn Galicia of ETU discusses to upcoming freshmen scholars how they could present their monthly report through different kinds of presentation. Ms. Nicole Tablizo delivering her inspirational message.

 

            The Regional Welfare Office-National Capital Region (RWO-NCR) gathered the passers of the recent EDSP qualifying exams last 21 September 2014 to orient them about the Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP).The activity was conducted on May 15 and 22 at the OWWA Multipurpose Hall, 10th Floor OWWA Center Bldg., and Pasay City.

            The event also made a way for the scholars to meet fellow scholarship grantees from the school they’ll attend for the next 4 to 5 years.

             Education and Training Head, Ms. Vivian Velez discussed the provisions of the scholarship agreement, while Ms. Lyn Galicia discussed the list of offenses a scholar should avoid to maintain his/her grant.

            The activity was graced by Ms. Nicole R. Tablizo, a former EDSP scholar who took up Literature, and graduated as Cum Laude at University of Sto. Tomas.

            In her message, she said there is nothing wrong in dreaming big, because by dreaming big, she accomplished the things she wants to do in her life.  

The newest batch of EDSP Scholars, together with Ma. Teresa B. Capa, Chief, PSD, Nicole R. Tablizo, Former EDSP Scholar and Guest Speaker, Ms. Lynn Galicia of ETU (Left to Right, Center) and Ms. Vivian Velez , Head  of ETU (first from Right)

            “Maraming beses na may markang no permit ang aking mga test papers,ngunit sa tabi nito nadoon ang mataas na gradong pinaghirapan ko. Maaring salat nga kami sa salapi,pero hindi naman ako salat sa utak. Masaya ako kasi binigay ko yung best ko at pinaghirapan ito,dahil napatunayan ko sa sarili ko na magaling ako at nalagpasan ko ang mga obstacles na ito sa buhay ko. Na realize ko na hindi ko naman kasalanang ipanganak akong mahirap, pero siguro kasalanan ko na kung mamamatay akong mahirap pa rin.”

            Nicole was just a normal higschool student who wants to study in the school of her dreams. And through hardwork and a little help from OWWA she realized her dream of becoming a writer.

            In ending her speech, she dared each scholar to push themselves to do their best and to make sure to that they maintain their scholarship grant until they finish college.

           

            EDSP is a scholarship grant available to qualified dependents of active member OFWs who shall enroll in any 4 to 5 year baccalaureate course in any CHED accredited university anywhere in the country.

 

END/Lianne Hidalgo

 

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