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Having returned from her previous overseas employment in Dubai, Maricel Ladiao looks forward in her new venture as she expands her grocery store with rice retailing in their home in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. The rice retail is part of the livelihood package OFW Ladiao received from OWWA through the Balik Pinas, Balik-Hanapbuhay Program.


Maricel Ladiao tried her luck overseas to help her husband, a mason and welder in their province, to finance the education of their four children, the eldest among them is currently a grade-9 student from Palawan National High School. “Gusto kong maghanda para sa kolehiyo ng aking anak”, she further added. However, she has not been able to finish her contract due to misunderstandings with her co-worker which resulted in souring relationship with her employer. The situation got out of hand which prompted her to seek the help of Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Dubai to assist her in going back to the Philippines.


Upon arrival, the Department of Labor and Employment – Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (DOLE-OWWA) gave OFW psycho-social services such as stress debriefing sessions. Furthermore, she received livelihood assistance as part of the reintegration program of DOLE-OWWA through the Balik Pinas, Balik-Hanapbuhay program. Under the program, a distressed OFW is qualified to be a recipient of livelihood starter kits to aid in starting again in the country and strengthen entrepreneurial skills of the OFW. With the mini grocery she had been able to invest during her stint as OFW, she plans to augment her existing business through rice retailing. “Mahirap magnegosyo ng puro utang at walang kapital”, OFW Ladiao said.


True to its mission, “Umulan ma’t umaraw, ang OWWA ay maasahan”. She is very happy and relieved that OWWA, through thick and thin, is ready to help OFWs, especially distressed ones like her to stand again through livelihood assistance programs. 

OFW Family Circles Joins DTI’s Diskwento Caravan 2014

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY --- To acknowledge strong cooperation and support towards consumer welfare by giving out discounts on commodities and products for sale, OWWA – RWO 10 (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office 10) invited three (3) active OFW Family Circles (OFCs)  to participate DTI’s (Department of Trade and Industry) two-day Diskwento Caravan themed “Presyong Panalo Para sa Mamimiling Pilipino” along with other partner agencies (RTWPB, TESDA & CONSUMERNET), distributors, suppliers and service providers last September 15 & 16, 2014 at the Gaston Park, Cagayan de Oro City.


“I am grateful with OWWA for inviting us to participate on this government program which enables us to promote our product as well”, one member exclaims. Thus, in order to enhance their knowledge in promoting their products and services, they are encouraged to avail OWWA’s Information Technology (IT) Program especially on venturing tri-media advertisements.


Among the groups who participated are OFCs within Cagayan de Oro City & Claveria, Misamis Oriental namely: HALO (Home Alliance Livelihood Organization) of Carmen, Claveria Migrant Ministry Association and Opol Sealand.

OWWA Celebrates 2014 National Maritime Week

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY --- Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Regional Office 10 spearheaded by Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA)  Region 10 celebrates 2014 National Maritime Week slated on September 21 – 28 adopting IMO’s theme: “IMO Conventions: Effective Implementation” held at SM City Car Park, Cagayan de Oro City.


To focus attention on the importance of maritime safety, security and environment protection, members of the academe, private sectors and attached government agencies joined the week-long celebration which started off with a parade from Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) up to Upper Carmen – SM City.


The event aims to invigorate the participation of the four sectors of maritime industry: the domestic shipping, the overseas shipping, the shipbuilding and ship repair and the maritime manpower development, as well as the maritime education and training sector and other related groups. 


San Fernando City – OWWA RWO III, together with PRU Life UK, conducted financial literacy seminar for 126 children of OFWs in Bulacan on 22 November 2014 at the Guiguinto Municipal Gym, Guiguinto, Bulacan.


Children of OFWs ages 7 to 12 participated in the exciting and fun-filled activities lead by Pru Life UK. They were taught money-smart values shown on the episodes of Cha-Ching, Pru Life UK’s flagship financial literacy for the youth program.


Cha-Ching is a three-minute musical cartoon featured in Cartoon Network which introduces the four money management pillars – Earn, Save, Spend, Donate. It is a band composed of six cartoon characters, namely, Prudence, Zul, Justin, Bobby, Charity, and Pepper. Through this edutainment approach, children are provided with opportunities to begin practicing financial literacy skills at a young age.


Children enjoyed the activities based on these concepts. They were also able to meet the members of the Cha-Ching band, Zul and Prudence. Each kid received exciting Cha-Ching items, such as money box and kit which will surely help them be money-smart kids.


The activity was the fourth financial literacy program for kids conducted by the regional welfare office in partnership with Pru Life UK. In 2013, children of OFWs from Bataan, Bulacan, and Pampanga participated in the same program.




24 November 2014. Hundreds of aspiring Chemical Engineers rejoice as they hurdle the 2014 Chemical Engineering Board Examinations conducted by the Professional Regulation Commission. And of the 596 newly registered Chemical Engineers, EDSP Scholar and now Engr. Ellyza Joy M. Quintela soared high to land the third place in the examination.


Engr. Ellyza is the daughter of OFW Joel Ignacio Quintela, a seafarer who works in a Shell company and who inspired her to pursue a degree in Chemical Engineering. “Gusto ko po talagang magka-title sa pangalan ko”; and this desire became her motivation to pursue college with flying colors. She took up her BS Chemical Engineering program in the University of the Philippines – Los Banos. Though a self-confessed “grade conscious” student; she, like any other UP student, has experienced sleepless nights and tiring days to satisfy all the academic requirements and deadlines of college life. She even admitted incurring a grade of 3.0 (passing grade) in a major subject, and had experienced taking up final examinations twice as a means of “removal”. These trials and challenges, however, did not stop Ellyza from pursuing her dreams. In fact, she even threw away her being “grade-conscious” in the latter years in college when her graduating with honors was assured.


On April 2014, Ellyza graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of the Philippines and was recognized later in May by the beloved OWWA Administrator together with her fellow OWWA Scholar-Awardees.


An aspiring leader, exceptional student, and now, a professional; these are the words which exactly describe EDSP Scholar and now Engr. Roxanne A. Rosales as she passed the 2014 Chemical Engineering Board Examination. Engr. Roxanne is the daughter of OFW Simeon P. Rosales, a process operator working in the Equatorial Guinea.


Roxanne graduated from the Batangas State University with a degree in BS Chemical Engineering. She was the former Secretary of the OWWA RWO IV-A Scholars Circle and still an active and supportive alumna. She was also a former SK Chairperson of Brgy. Resplandor, San Pascual, Batangas. Through the handful activities of the OWWA RWO IV-A Scholars Circle, Roxanne was one of those responsible enough in the planning and logistics to make each youth activity possible. Despite her active participation in the Sangguniang Kabataan and the Scholars Circle, Roxanne never failed to give priority in her studies. In fact, she was awarded as the Best Thesis for her Department prior to her graduation and was recognized by the beloved OWWA Administration last May of 2014 as one of the achievers among OWWA Scholars.


Truly Roxanne is one of those youth who should serve as an example today; for being a government scholar must not merely rely on academic excellence or achievement, but also counts on one’s active participation in various youth development activities which could be a vital role for tomorrow’s leaders and professionals.

OWWA SOCCSKSARGEN Yields Another Pride

Mithrica Mae D. Fantone, or Mith as what her friends call her, exemplify an innocent beauty and an undoubtedly pleasing personality. Mith hails from Greenvalley, Midsayap located in the province of North Cotabato. A loving daughter to Mr. Danilo L. Fantone, a Filipino migrant worker manning a foreign vessel for 8 years in pursuit of an improved quality of life for his family.


Mith being a native of a peaceful municipality was stunned by what seemed to be foreign things and practices in the beginning of her journey to educational success. She even asked herself, “was I living under a rock?” This however, she took as a challenge. Mith worked herself out to adapt to the new culture of liberated people while keeping the good moral values her parents taught her back home.


Adjustment period wasn’t easy since Mith had to live a student life alone, away from home and her family. She gained friends who stood by her in difficult times, while some she lost. Mith always believed that it’s inevitable.


Having no idea to augment her parent’s income to support her studies, Mith was thankful she was able to avail the scholarship grant under the OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (ODSP) offered by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration thru the Regional Welfare Office XII. She was motivated to strive harder than she used to, to reciprocate the efforts and sacrifices of her father working overseas. “After all, he was the key to my scholarship”, Mith emphasized.


Davao City, the center of Metro Davao, and the third most populous metropolitan area in the Philippines was never easy to live to especially for a teen like Mith. The cost of living is quite high. Since her allowance comes every month, she learned how to manage her finances responsibly. She even made a record book of her priority list taking into consideration her basic needs over her wants.


Mith admitted she had a hard time on her studies. Medical Laboratory Science wasn’t easy she said. Spending hours on books, dealing with disappointing examination results to sleepless nights of stress and pressure were some of her agonies during her college days. Those experiences however made her a stronger and better person.


She finished her course on March 2014 at San Pedro College in Davao City. After which, Mith underwent a review and later took the Medical Technology Licensure Examination in September 13 and 14, 2014.


On September 17, 2014 thru the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) website, Mith was informed about the examination result. She passed.


While it is often told that dependents of most Filipino migrant workers don’t end successful, OWWA through its young and vibrant scholars continues to prove the notions otherwise.



OWWA RWO XII to hold OFC Youth Sports Festival

Koronadal City - A total of one hundred and sixty (160) participants from the different OFW Family Circle (OFC) Youth Associations in the entire SOCCSKSARGEN region is expected to participate in the conduct of OFC Youth Sports Festival on December 6 and 7, 2014 at the South Cotabato Sports Complex in Koronadal City.


The two-day activity tagged with the theme, “Sama-samang pasiglahin, katawan at isip kalingain malusog na pamumuhay paigtingin” is spearheaded by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office XII through the initiative OIC, Regional Director Marilou M. Sumalinog in coordination with the Koronadal Professional Basketball Association (KorPBA).


Joining the festival are three (3) Youth OFCs from the province of South Cotabato, two (2) from North Cotabato, two (2) from the Sarangani Province and General Santos City; and one (1) from Sultan Kudarat.


Each participating team will compete in various ballgame competitions such as basketball and volleyball, including table tennis, athletics (100m sprint & 400m Mixed Relay), larong pinoy (Tug of war & Team Sack Race), and Quiz Bowl.


Further, a fellowship night on December 6, 2014 will also be prepared with lots of fun-filled and entertaining activities that will promote camaraderie amongst all the participants of the sports festival with relevance to the celebration of the holiday season.


Culmination activity will be conducted on December 7, 2014 to which an exhibition game between the KorPBA members and the Tantangan OFW Youth Association is highly anticipated. Further, certificate of participation will be given to all the participants while the winning team receives trophies and cash prizes.

National Capital Region
RWO-NCR conducts OFW Family Day at the Makati Coliseum on  4 December 2014

The Regional Welfare Office - National Capital Region (RWO-NCR) celebrated the annual OFW Family Day at the Makati Coliseum on 4 December 2014, with the theme, “Ang Pasko ay kay saya  kapag  Pamilyang OFW ay sama-sama!”


The celebration aims to recognize the contributions of the OFW sector to the economy of the country. The event has become a much awaited celebration wherein OFWs and their  families gather in a simple yet exciting and fun-filled day of laughter and surprises.


The event was graced by Deputy Administrator Josefino I. Torres and Director Emma V. Sinclair who delivered their.


This year’s concept was inspired by colorful carnivals. The participants who joined the event were either in their vivid costumes or in color coordinated shirts to identify which city they are representing.


Aside from games, prizes and raffle draws, the event was filled with song and dance presentations from representatives of each city from NCR. They also showed their creative side by showing off their very own design of human Christmas tree. The most creative design has received a special prize from RWO-NCR.


Director Emma Sinclair during her    Welcome remarks for the participants of Family Day 2014 


D.A Torres during his message to the participants of  Family Day 2014


Director Emma V. Sinclair together with the winners of Human Christmas Tree Contest.


Director Emma V. Sinclair and PSD Chief  Ma.Teresa  Capa togethter  with the Grand Prize Raffle Winners.


Boracay OFC Dance Group performs a dynamic dance number for all of the participants of the event.

AgSur OFCs undergo Community Leadership Training

Butuan City (November 19) – Around thirty (30) officers of OFW Family Circles (OFCs) in Trento, Bunawan and Sta. Josefa, Agusan del Sur underwent recently a three-day Community Leadership Training courtesy of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office-13.


The training aimed to enhance and strengthen the leadership proficiency of OFC leaders through imparting effective management approaches which will serve as a tool towards organizational development.


The training course integrated dynamic lectures and workshops delivered by resource speaker Mr. Cristelito Abadilla, PDOS Trainer in Region XI.


OWWA Officer in Charge, Regional Director Eduardo E. Bellido bared that it is first off for regional welfare office Caraga to conduct such training for OFCs which primarily intends to capacitate the OFC leaders in managing the organization.


“While some leaders have innate capacity to lead, others need preparation and proper training to become effective managers,” Bellido pointed out.


One of the participants, Pretty Yparraguirre, President of Kapatungan Pinoy Abroad Organization in Trento, expressed her appreciation to OWWA for choosing the OFCs in Agusan del Sur as beneficiaries of the said training which provided them necessary material to improve their leadership skills.


Mapasalamaton jud mi sa OWWA nga nakaattend mi ato nga training nga makahatag usab kalambuan sa among grupo ug makatabang sa amoa isip lider sa pag ila sa batasan sa among mga miyembro,” said Yparraguirre.


Meanwhile, Zalde Castilla, President of Samahang Pangkabuhayan ng Pamilyang OFW sa Tapaz articulated, “akong nakutlo satraining is importante ang transparency sa organisasyon, dili maghimu ug decision nga as leader imo ang matuman ug kinahanglan nga kabalo ka mangitag idea nga musulbad sa mga issue diha sa grupo.” (I learned in the training the importance of transparency in the organization, also to refrain from making a decision wherein your decision alone as a leader will be followed and it is moreover essential to gain ideas that will help solve the issues within the group.)    


Both Yparraguirre and Castilla were similarly looking forward to avail of other programs and services of OWWA especially in livelihood augmentation for their organization.   


Bellido on the side conveyed, that the community leadership training is only the first among the series of responsive trainings and programs that OWWA sets to conduct in the coming months to strengthen OFCs. (Jean Mary G. Ronquillo, OWWA-13)