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Butuan City (March 3) – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Regional Welfare Office -13 is now accepting applications for OFW Dependents Scholarship Program (OFWDSP) for the school year 2015-2016.


OFWDSP is offered to legal dependents of active OFWs who receive monthly salaries of not more than $400 US. 


Overseas Workers Welfare Officer II and Scholarship Coordinator, Rodel Deligero said “seventy-six scholarship slots are open this year for Caraganon OFW dependents. Of this number, twelve (12) slots are intended for the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Dinagat Province. While twenty (20) slots for the provinces of Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Norte respectively.”


Qualified applicants for the program must be 21 years old below who have no units earned yet in college. 


“OFW dependents or beneficiaries who wish to apply for the scholarship program must submit their documentary requirements to the regional welfare office not later than April 30, 2015,” bared Deligero.


 Individuals who want to avail of the program should submit an accomplished application form; two copies 2×2 pictures (studio shot/white background); proof of relationship to OWWA member (birth certificate of applicant or birth certificate of both the single OFW and the applicant-dependent and certificate of no marriage duly certified by the Local Civil Registrar or NSO, if OFW is single, proof of OWWA membership; and form 137/High school report card. 


The scholarship program offers P20,000.00 financial assistance per school year leading to a baccalaureate or associate degree in a state college or university.  


Deligero opined that “the financial assistance covers the tuition fees of the scholars which are directly paid to the school and the remaining amount goes to the scholars upon submission of the required documents such as certificate of registration, official receipt and grades for the semester.”


“In cases where a scholar has to pay in advance the school fees, they are advised to reimburse their expenses by presenting requisite documents and receipts,” Deligero added.


As of this period, there are 148 scholarship grantees under OFWDSP and twenty-three (23) scholars have already graduated.  


For more information relative to this program, Deligero urged clients to visit OWWA regional welfare office 13 at Nimfa Tiu Building II at J.P. Rosales Avenue, this city. 

Cope Family of Tabaco City Bags Special Award for  Entrepreneurial Excellence at National MOFYA

LEGASPI CITY – An OFW family from the Bicol Region was adjudged as the winner of the Special Award for Outstanding Achievement in Entrepreneurship during the awarding ceremony of the Model OFW Family of the Year Awards National Level held last January 23, 2015 at the Blue Leaf Filipinas in Parañaque City. The Cope Family of Tabaco City, Albay bested 34 other MOFYA Regional Winners to win one of two special awards given during the event.


Master Mariner Juan Cope, who was among the Philippine Regulation Commission’s Top 10 Examinees for the Master Licensure Examination in 1979, worked as a seafarer for more than 40 years. He and his wife, Renee, run the Amando Cope College in Tabaco City and are also part owners of the Amando Cope Memorial Hospital. Renee acts as the Dean of the College of Nursing of the aforementioned school. Their eldest daughter, Adhara is a graduate of Business Management from the De La Salle College of Saint Benilde. She is currently taking up Law from the Aquinas University of Legazpi. Antares, their second child, is a graduate of Bachelor of Laws from the Far Eastern University. Both Adhara and Antares help in the management of their family’s school. Their youngest son, Jhorenz, is currently taking up Medical Technology at the Centro Escolar University.


The Cope Family receive a check amounting to P100,000.00 from OWWA Administrator Rebecca Calzado (extreme left) and DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz (4th from left)


For winning the award, the Cope’s received a plaque of recognition, a refrigerator, and a  cash prize of One Hundred Thousand Pesos (100,000.00). They were also given Forty Thousand Pesos (40,000.00) for being Regional Winners in the Sea-based Category. This is the second time that a Bicolano OFW Family was given the special award as Mr. Yco Tan and Family of Legaspi City also won the same in 2012.


The MOFYA is an annual event which aims to highlight the traits and values of exemplary OFW families who have experienced the social costs of migration yet remained solid and successful in all facets of family life. According to OWWA RWO V Regional Director Jocelyn O. Hapal, the MOFYA not only honors the OFW but more so the family where he or she belongs to.


“Ang MOFYA ay parangal hindi lang para OFW kundi para din sa kanyang pamilya. Binibigyan natin ng pahalaga ang pagsusumikap ng magigiting na OFW sa ibang bansa ganun din naman ang kanyang asawa na pinalalaki ang kanilang mga anak sa tamang pamamaraan sa kabila ng pagkakawalay nilang mag asawa. Syempre pinaparangalan din natin  ang kanilang mga anak na nagpapahalaga sa pagsusumikap ng kanilang magulang sa ibayong dagat sa pamamagitan ng pag-aaral ng maigi,” she said.


“For us, an OFW cannot be deemed successful without his team which is his family. That is what MOFYA is all about. Honoring the player by honoring his whole team,” Director Hapal added.


OWWA Administrator Redbecca Calzado said that she encourages other OFW families to be involved in the future iterations of the MOFYA since being nominated in and of itself is already a prize and a lasting legacy they can give their children and their children’s children. “We are truly proud of all our MOFYA awardees, both past, the new roster as well as the future winners, because they exemplify what every OFW aspires for—success both in their work stints abroad and a happy, fulfilled family life,” added Administrator Calzado.




24-26 February 2015, Rosario, Batangas. RWO IV-A once again acknowledged the invitation of Atikha Overseas Workers and Communities Initiatives, Inc. on their three-day live-in Case Management Seminar in Tan Ville Garden Resort, Brgy. Namunga, Rosario, Batangas.


Family Welfare Officer Mae Katrine Jacila attended the three-day seminar, along with the other participants from the different public employment services and social welfare & development offices from various municipalities in the province of Batangas, as well as partners from SUMMID CALABARZON. Some representatives from the DFA and other DOLE-attached agencies including OWWA RWO IV-A attended as guest speakers.


OWWA Trustee, Hon. Estrella Mai Dizon-Annonuevo, acting in her capacity as Executive Director of Atikha started the program by having a run-through of the migration realities and the roles of the One-Stop Migration Resource Centers in catering cases involving OFWs and their dependents.


Case Officer Maricyn Peniero, RWO IV-A’s representative and guest speaker for Day 2 Module on Case Management tackled OWWA cases and repatriation services. Various cases ranging from maltreatment to non-support, as well as OWWA’s handling mechanisms, actions & assistance schemes and its coordination with the POLO were highlighted at RWO IV-A’s presentation. A clear picture of the coordination anatomy within the RWOs, OWWA Center, POLOs, and DFA was presented in the discussion.


Topics such as migrant rights & realities, interventions & case management flows, cases of families left behind, and human trafficking, illegal recruitment, contract violation & legal actions were discussed in the modules of other guest speakers. After the presentation of all the modules by the different guest speakers, an open forum among the participants was conducted. PSD Chief Sergio B. Borgueta who accompanied Ms. Peniero assisted in answering queries and clarifications in behalf of OWWA.


The three-day seminar left a clearer picture regarding the process flow and how the key government offices handle cases involving OFWs, with the OWWA having a vital role on workers’ welfare assistance. Participants in the seminar are positive for an intensified cooperation and coordination among government offices and non-government organizations toward the protection of the rights and welfare of OFWs.

Batangas FWO Mae Katrine Jacila (back row, 3rd from right) attended the 3-day Case Management Seminar at Rosario, Batangas.

Aspiring Overseas Filipino Worker entrepreneurs and investors from MIMAROPA trained in an Entrepreneurial Development Training

With the hopes of attaining financial success, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their dependents who have decided to stay and invest in the country have undergone a Basic Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurial Development Trainings conducted by OWWA MIMAROPA, in partnership with OWWA NCR last February 27, 2015 at the OWWA Center, Pasay City.


OFWs who want to start anew in the country through entrepreneurial ventures participated in a two-part training which aims to aid them in starting or improving their business in the MIMAROPA region. 


Ms. Aquilina Tarrobago, Mr. Romanito Frias, and Mr. Tristan Perez of OWWA MIMAROPA oriented the participants about OWWA’s livelihood programs. They have also taught them different strategies on establishing their own business. The participants have undergone workshops on making business plans, streamlining business operations, and basic accounting procedures which equipped them the necessary skills and prepared them in their venture and sustaining their livelihood. 


The Entrepreneurial Development Training and Financial Literacy Training are part of Livelihood Assistance and Reintegration Efforts of OWWA which provided OFWs and their dependents of technical knowledge and assistance prior to engaging into an enterprise to reach financial success.


Meanwhile, graduate students of the Yokohama University of Japan came to observe the said training to know more about the offered programs and services of OWWA. The Advocacy and Social Marketing Division, together with the Labor Communications Officer of RWO IV-B, Mr. Jan Erwin Reyes, oriented the students of the livelihood and reintegration programs of OWWA and its goal to assist the OFWs in their financial success, and ultimately, to contribute to the national economic development efforts.


Mr. Rome Frias, Mr. Tristan Perez, and Ms. Lenny Tarrobago shared their knowledge and experience to the OFWs and their dependents to aid them on how to start their own business in preparation for their journey of financial success here in the Philippines.


Graduate students from the Yokohama University came to observe the training and know more about the programs and services of OWWA. The Advocacy and Social Marketing Division, together with the Labor Communications Officer of RWO IV-B oriented the students regarding the training and its goal towards contributing to the national economic development.

Value for Money Audit Checks on OWWA funded Livelihood Projects

Koronadal City – Livelihood projects all over the SOCCSKSARGEN region established under various Reintegration Programs of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration were duly monitored relative to the Value for Money (VFM) audit instruction of the OWWA Supervising Auditor, Fe G. Engo.


A monitoring team composed of the OWWA Regional Welfare Office XII’s Family Welfare Officers, the Labor Communications Officer, and its Supervising Auditors started checking on the status of livelihood projects on January 19, 2015.


Under the BPBH program, qualified beneficiaries are awarded with a non-cash livelihood support/assistance worth Php 10,000.00 intended to provide immediate relief to returning member Overseas Filipino Workers, active or inactive, who were displaced from their jobs due to wars/political conflicts in host countries; or were victims of illegal recruitment and/or human trafficking or other distressful situations.


Majority of the program availees pursued a sari-sari store business taking into consideration the starter kits’ worth, their skills, and their potential market. Others have ventured into hog raising, parlor, food processing, and eatery (carenderia).


Initially, of six (6) availees monitored in the province of South Cotabato, 3 projects were sustained, 2 weren’t able to start their proposed project, yet the starter kit’s still kept intact and one (1) was found out to have decided to take another shot on overseas employment due to the soaring needs of her family.


On Wednesday, January 28, 2015 Henry T. Mayordomo, brother of OFW Florence T. Mayordomo of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato said “My sister being a single mother again decided to leave town and work abroad because she realized her source of income isn’t sufficient to support the education of her children.” Her carenderia already existed prior to her application to the program and had provided her family comfort for a little while yet she realized it was not enough shortly after the starter kit was released in July 2014, he added.


Although the intended enterprise wasn’t established, part of the starter kit was added as working capital to Henry’s Rice Trading business since his sister asked him to be the guardian of her children.


While there is a chance for the program recipients to improve the quality of their lives through the livelihood grant, Supervising Auditor III Virginia A. Caraso perceives the need for the program to be enhanced or developed. “10,000 might not be enough for the recipients to run their businesses. Further, some of them probably don’t have any idea on how to operate such; they just complied with the requirements to avail the grant”, said Caraso.


OWWA XII Monitoring team (right) Supervising Auditor I Zurmia W. Guinomla and (left) FWO Faye Kim T. Wee takes a pose after a brief interview with BPBH Program recipient (center) Josephine D. Bernadas.


As of this writing, schedules are already set for the continuation of monitoring activities to check on Balik Pinas Balik Hanapbuhay Program funded projects including those of 2B OFW Reintegration Program (2B OFWRP).


Koronadal City – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office XII is set to conduct a school to school campaign in the entire SOCCSKSARGEN region starting January 5, 2015 to announce the opening of the OFW Dependents Scholarship Program (OFDWSP).


The move aims to further strengthen the information drive of the RWO relative to the scholarship grant (OFWDSP) offered to poor but deserving students in the region who are at the same time qualified beneficiaries of active Overseas Filipino Workers whose salary does not exceed $400 US Dollars.


The OFWDSP is scholarship grant consisting of a maximum of Php20,000.00 assistance per school year leading to a baccalaureate or associate degree in a state college or university.


More than the scholarship we offer to the dependents of our unsung heroes, our goal in this campaign is to really extend our reach up to the grassroots of the region to provide equal opportunities to our clients who deserve nothing but the best of the agency’s programs and services”, said Sumalinog.


Family Welfare Officers assigned in their respective area of jurisdiction are expected to meet the school’s Career Adviser/Guidance Counselor in order to facilitate a more convenient and effective way of information dissemination. Flyers, brochures, and other IEC materials related to the scholarship program as well as other services offered by the agency will also be provided to the academic institutions.


Meanwhile, Sumalinog motivates the OWWA RWO XII staff to earnestly spread the information as curriculum year 2015-2016 is fast approaching.


Qualified applicants in the region may submit their applications to the OWWA Regional Welfare Office XII located at Ilao Bldg., Judge Alba St., Zone III, Koronadal City or to the nearest Public Employment and Service Office (PESO). Deadline of submission is on April 30, 2015.


For more information, interested applicants may call Tel. Nos.: (083) 228 – 1076 or Hotline Nos.: 0908-888-1303/ 0917-572-1303.


As of this writing, schedules of Information Drive are already set to be pursued in the province of Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato, Sarangani and General Santos City.

OWWA 10 Guests in “Public Office, Public Trust” Radio Segment

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY --- Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office 10 (OWWA RWO 10) discussed the importance of OWWA membership among Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) during its guesting in “Public Office, Public Trust” Magnum Radio’s 5PM segment aired all over Mindanao. 


Mr. Eugene Mesias, OWWO III, reminded OFWs that the membership is only based per contract and must renew in any OWWA branches nationwide or at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in order to avail the programs and services offered to active members especially the college and technical vocational courses scholarships as well as upgrading courses for seafarers. Moreover, this serves as their protection especially in their workplace such as accidents and natural cause of death.  


In today’s trend, OWWA encourages lots of Filipinos to pay voluntarily especially those who entered other countries as migrant tourists and later on look for jobs but never registered themselves at the POLO for proper documentation.


Aside from that, OWWA also announced the anticipated institutionalized events such as the Migrant Workers Day, National Seafarer’s Day, and Model OFW of the Year Awards (MOFYA) that honors the noble jobs and contribution of OFWs in the growing economy.


Further, OWWA still accepts OFW Dependents Scholarship Program (ODSP) application until 31 March 2015. 20 slots are already reserved to Lanao del Norte since they are the marginalized zone based on the national economic criteria; 12 slots each for Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon and Camiguin.

Jobs Fair: OWWA 10 Joins Manticao’s 66th Foundation Day

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY --- Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office 10 (OWWA RWO 10) joined the annual jobs fair held last February 5 at Manticao Municipal Covered Court in collaboration with the PESO-LGU (Public Employment Service Office of the Local Government Unit) of Manticao as an accordance and support with its 66th Foundation Anniversary bearing the theme “Padayunon ang Kausaban ug Kabag-Uhan: Hugpungan and Pagkab-ot sa Kalambuan”.


Such participation through the active and engaging PESO Manager, Rolando Engcoy, aims to sustain the intent of providing welfare case assistance, promoting college and technical-vocational scholarships and the sustainable livelihood programs towards an estimate of 85 populations of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in its municipality and neighboring areas based on PESO Manticao’s statistical records.


OWWA 10 rendering welfare case assistance during the jobfair.


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY --- Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA) Region X supports the creation of the inter-agency task force that conducts interim guidelines for prevention and control of any potential epidemic in the country such as Ebola, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Avian Influenza and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus (MERS-CoV). Such collaboration of OWWA with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and other concerned agencies is spearheaded by Department of Health (DOH).


Aim of the task force is to sustain all coordination from the national government down to the regional offices to provide educational and informational devices in promoting public awareness and community engagement in the prevention measures. OWWA’s objective of dissemination is to be included during the Pre-Departure Seminar (PDOS) since globalization and increased mobility of people in the case of working overseas heightens the risk of disease proliferation.


 “Naa naman tay naapil nga mga discussion sa PDOS about sa HIV ug uban pang klase na sakit na na-proliferate sa ubang nasud, wala pa lang gyud tay about aning sa Ebola (During PDOS, we already included HIV and other proliferating diseases in the discussions except for the latest which is Ebola)”, OWWO III Eugene Mesias, articulates.  


Up to now, OWWA actively participates in the ongoing constitution and development of the task force inter-agency which the meeting started December last year and will be regularly held quarterly this year especially in coming up with further plans of incorporating modules during PDOS.


This is as well a proactive response to the growing national security concern where Executive Order No 168, known as Creating the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases in the Philippines, is passed by President Benigno S. Aquino III last May 26, 2014.

ODSP Scholar from Bukidnon State University

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY --- Learning is a lifetime process. The more the exploration, the more frontier of wisdom it gets. “College life can make you independent, enhanced your eyebags, calloused your fingers, abused your brain, deteriorated your whole being and exposed you to life’s cruelties and yet you’re still alive and kicking’, a random quote once states. 


Jullie Jhay Collantes Sanchez, is one of Regional Welfare Office 10’s ODSP (OFW – Dependents Scholarship Program) scholar, a college freshman from Bukidnon State University pursuing Elementary Education. During her high school senior years, she once wondered if she can really survive college. As a fourth child from five siblings and a witness to her family’s perseverance, she said she owes everything a lot to her parents and strives to finish school to return the favor. Her mother, OFW Daisy Joy Sanchez works as a Household Service Worker in United Arab Emirates since 2008 while her father stood as their guardian and simultaneously works as a Driver. 


Upon hearing the ODSP scholarship from her mother, she immediately complied the requirements and thankfully passed the exam last 2014. She hopes that this lightens the financial burden of their family.


College is not easy and I have difficulties adjusting at first just like anybody does”, she exclaims. Of course it’s definitely a new school, new environment, new people and new story. “Aside from that, I’m far from my family in Quezon, Bukidnon and now living my college days in Malaybalay City with the goal to graduate”, she added.


Again, like every freshmen, she actively joins clubs and participates in sports league especially in the basketball team during Intramurals to develop sportsmanship aside from developing active lifestyle. She also gets involve in ground demonstrations, photography and essay writing.


“I value education because my future matters the most. It’s not just about going to school in order to attain a degree or a title but to learn and face the bitter fangs of a monster that submerges us in the hot piercing liquid called reality”, she speaks. Accordingly, her studies are not just to impress their parents, family, friends and even enemies. It’s the possibility of living, deciding life’s choices and acceptance.


Now, Jullie Jhay is about to finish her 1st year college this coming March 2015 and still strides until she gets to finish  another three years and finally wear her toga of achievement.