Butuan City ( February 3, 2015) – In a bid to strengthen the OFW Family Circles (OFCs) and map out strategies for organizational enhancement, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Regional Welfare Office 13 called for a Consultative Meeting, on Sunday, participated with OFCs in the areas of Butuan City and Nasipit, Agusan del Norte.
Around 70 OFWs and OFW dependents who are active and non-active members of OFCs attended the said activity held at OWWA Training Hall. Each OFC representative expressed the problems faced by their organization and their hopes to gain both technical and financial assistance from OWWA.
Minda Olaer, an OFW dependent, articulated that she was at first hesitant with OWWA but after listening to the discussion, she and other members of their group from Rosewood Subdivision were encouraged to fortify their OFC to augment livelihood opportunities.
Moreso, Eva Alvarez, a Brgy. Kagawad from Talisay, Nasipit and is also an OFW Dependent, was looking forward for assistance from OWWA for possible availment of skills training programs of OFW dependents especially the youth in their area which may help them land better employment.
In his message, Officer-in-Charge, Regional Director Eduardo Bellido cited the importance of said assembly to assess the status of the OFCs and classify possible interventions which the agency can develop to address the needs of the group.
He also pointed out that the agency and the OFCs must exert collective efforts and work both ways in attaining the desired project. Likewise, he stressed that forming a registered organization is advantageous for OFWs to obtain organizational development trainings and livelihood grant not only from OWWA but also from other partner regional line agencies.
Bellido assured that OWWA will visit abovementioned areas in the following days to set another assembly with each OFC to tackle the subsequent pace to be undertaken by both parties.
For CY 2014, OWWA has 60 maintained OFCs which were provided organizational development seminars and skills trainings. For this year, 32 OFCs are targeted to be organized and be provided with the same trainings which aim to create community enterprise or generate skills for employment.
RD Eduardo Bellido thoroughly discusses to the participants the importance of forming OFCs and laid out the family support reintegration services of OWWA for them.
Mr. Domingo M. Espinoza, an OFW repatriated from Libya received a starter kit on complete welding tools and equipment at the OWWA Regional Welfare Office XI. He worked as a Welder at Valesco Company in Libya but unable to finish his contract due to political crisis and repatriated on June 16, 2014.
As a displaced worker, he availed of the Balik-Pinas Balik-Hanapbuhay program of OWWA. Since he has a passion in welding, he made a business plan that will help him achieve his dream to have his own welding shop. When his business plan was approved, he went to the Regional Office to receive the complete welding tools and equipment. “I am so happy and thankful to OWWA for granting my request. This will really help me in pursuing my plan to have my own welding shop at home”, said 47 years old Espinoza. Presently, he has a small shop in Bangkal, Davao City but no welding machine. With the starter kit he received, he can start his own livelihood and earn income. “I will no longer apply for work abroad because OWWA gave me a chance to enhance my skills that would provide a better income for my family”, Mr. Espinoza added. He plans to accept welding jobs such as window grills, gates, plant racks/stands and much more. Aside from the starter kit he received, he also availed of the Financial Relief Assistance from OWWA amounting to Ten Thousand Pesos (P10, 000.00) in cash. Likewise, he took the opportunity to enroll a Forklift Operator course at TESDA under the Skills for Employment Scholarship Program (SESP).
14 January 2015, Lucena City, Quezon Province. RWO IV-A, cooperating with Summid CALABARZON, actively participated in a Reintegration Counseling activity. The third and last day of the activity where RWO IV-A was invited was a panel discussion on Linking with the National Government and Civil Society Organizations for Social Reintegration Programs.
24 participant-representatives from different government agencies and non-government organizations gather for the seminar. Key speakers on the panel discussion include RWO IV-A’s very own; Reintegration Unit Head Avelina Sheryl Briton-Caya who talked about OWWA’s reintegration and reintegration preparedness programs. Other notable speakers include Ms. Melanie Jean Montas of NRCO IV-A, Mr. Elfred Del Rosario of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, Ms. Aileen Constantino-Penas of Atikha, Inc., and Atty. Melojean Puache, acting PESO Manager for the provincial government of Quezon.
Workshops and roleplaying activities were done in order to simulate the participants and for them to have a picture of the stages of migration and the process of reintegration. After the energizing activities, the participants drafted concrete action plans for cascading financial literacy and reintegration, as well as planning and counseling.
The goal of the activity is to strengthen the agency’s reintegration preparedness programs and widen its network of cooperation with fellow government agencies and civil society organizations in assisting in the reintegration process of OFWs and their families. With a couple of reintegration activities done at the very start of the year, RWO IV-A remains positive that such programs would empower OFW families and thus alleviate the social and economic costs of overseas migration, as well as to contribute to development and nation-building in general.
OWWO III Avelina Sheryl S. Briton-Caya conducts an organizational briefing on OWWA’s Programs and Services, focusing on its Reintegration Programs (Left) and answered some inquiries and clarifications on OWWA’s reintegration programs and services in an open forum (Right).
29-30 January 2015, Alabat, Quezon. Avelina Sheryl S. Briton-Caya and Marita A. Ablis of the Reintegration Unit conducted Values Re-orientation Seminar (VRS) as part of the agency’s goal to ensure its reintegration preparedness programs to members who showed interest and invested efforts in participation for such activities.
50 participants from the two OFW associations of Poblacion gathered at Brgy. 3, Poblacion, Alabat for the seminar. OFWs, returnees, and dependents participated enthusiastically in the activities laid down in the module. Through the workshops, some have unleashed talents they never knew they had, while others had realized some values and morals which remained taken for granted or ignored until the said re-orientation activity.
The goal of the VRS is to prepare the OFWs and their families for the former’s reintegration stage; or the period where the OFW, at the very most favorable circumstance, decides to stay in the country for good. This very crucial reintegration phase often requires rigid preparedness and cooperation within the family in order to integrate oneself back to the mainstream Philippine economy and lifestyle. The module intended to embed the participants the right attitude and perspective toward an improved and empowered way of living as OFW dependents and responsible citizens as well.
The VRS, unlike other reintegration programs, is mostly aimed on the social, moral and spiritual aspect of the phase rather than the technical and financial aspect alone. The module intended to “re-orient” values upon participants which are anchored in a development-oriented change, honing OFW families as agents of social change.
John Carlo A. Manabat, a scholar under the Education and Livelihood Assistance Program (ELAP) of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) was chosen as one of the delagates to the 10th Parliament of Youth Leaders held last May 15- 18, 2014 at the Manila Grand Hotel.
Out of over 800 aspirants nationwide, only 218 applicants were named as delegates for the said event. John Carlo was one of the 12 chosen delegates in Region 1 who attended the said event.
The Parliament of Youth Leaders is now on its 10th year of drawing together youth leaders from all over the Philippines in which policy recommendations were drafted to deal with the issues and concerns of the youth. This also serves as government’s guide in youth policy formation and program development.
John Carlo is also a qualifier for the 3rd Philippine Model Congress, the largest legislative simulation conference in the Philippines that allows students to participate in debates, assemblies, and plenary sessions to understand the Philippine legislative process. Last December 2014, John Carlo attended the 3rd Philippine Scholars Summit with the theme “Filipino Scholars’ Role and Contribution to the Coming of ASEAN Integration” at the University of Santo Tomas. He is also chosen as one of the 81 participants out of the 718 applicants for the Ayala Young Leaders Congress which will be held on February 1-13, 2015.
John Carlo is the eldest of the three children of the late OFW Julito Manabat and Mrs. Nenita Manabat. It was in the year 2012 when the OFW passed away. His family received Death and Burial Benefit including a scholarship for him and a livelihood assitance worth Php 15,000.00 for his mother under the ELAP as his father’s OWWA Membership was still valid at the time of death.
John Carlo is active in his academics as well as in extra-curricular activities at the Saint Louis College in San Fernando City, La Union where he is in his 2nd year taking up Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. John Carlo has joined various organizations in the school like the Louisian Torch where he is the Associate Editor-in-Chief and Speech and Debate Society (SPADES) where he is currently the Vice President. John Carlo is also a consistent Dean’s Lister.
Truly, John Carlo is one of the prides of OWWA Region 1 as he has exhibited outstanding performance in his academic requirements and organizations and has also displayed a strong sense of civic responsibility and involvement.
12 December 2014, Laguna Sports Complex, Sta. Cruz, Laguna. Thousand OFWs, dependents, and returnees join RWO IV-A in the celebration of the 2014 OFW Family Day, the last institutional activity of the RWO for the year as part of OWWA’s Pamaskong Handog series of activities.
Considered as one of the most anticipated activities by the OFW families and OFW Family Circles, the activity is centered on the happiness within a migrant’s family for which the agency is tasked to protect the latter’s welfare and well-being. With the theme; “Ang Pasko ay Kay Saya, Kung Pamilyang OFW ay Sama-sama”, the RWO coordinated with the Laguna Provincial Government, OFW Confederation, and some partner institutions to assure that the activity would be a blast.
The event started at around 10 in the morning in the Rizal Sports Complex Covered Court. With the coordination of Region IV-A OFW Confederation, the event was attended by OFW Federations from Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, and some special and walk-in guests. Partners Paramount Life and General Insurance Corp., Jollibee, and Nightingale Caregiver and Advanced Technology School Inc. set up their designated corners as well, to provide convenient services and accommodation to the guests. Paramount set up a booth for inquiries on their programs and services which entitled a raffle entry, as well as a photo booth to serve as souvenir for the guests. Nightingale, on the other hand, set up a corner for free massage and blood pressure check. Lastly, Jollibee set up a corner where meals and snacks were being prepared. They, too, provided entertainment to children as fun games, prizes, and free toys were given out. Performances by an acoustic band and by the OWWA RWO IV-A Circle of Scholars entertained the audience.
Fun activities such as games were facilitated by each province. In addition to the amusement, an A Capella Carol Contest was held among the provinces. Each province had their talents and efforts all-out with their astounding Christmas performances. Rizal province was hailed winner with their “Kumukuti-kutitap” performance.
The event was also attended by Ms. Gigi Corquera, PESO Manager and point person for the OFW Helpdesk in the Laguna Provincial Capitol, and the officers of the Confederation of OFCs.
Despite the effects of typhoon Ruby over the country, nothing stopped the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to provide smiles and laughter to Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) families this Christmas season as they celebrate the OFW Family Day held at Bansud Municipal Gymnasium, Bansud, Oriental Mindoro last December 13, 2014.
Themed “Pamaskong Handog sa OFWs: Ang Pasko ay Kay Saya, Kapag Pamilyang OFW ay Sama-sama”, this year’s OFW family day strengthened the bond between the OFW and their families this season. Even with the pouring rain, 650 participants coming from members of various OFW Family Circles (OFCs) of Oriental Mindoro attended the event. The affair was spearheaded by the OWWA Regional Welfare Office IV-B with the support of the DOLE Regional Office, Provincial Government of Oriental Mindoro, and Local Government Units of Bansud, Gloria, and Mansalay.
Hundreds of OFW families enjoyed the holiday season with OWWA as they unite in the OFW Family Day.
The event brought joy to the participants as they enjoy fun-filled games and activities for the whole family. Each OFCs also competed in the Parol Making Contest which the Bansud OFC bagged the first prize.
The OFCs, LGUs, and DOLE shared their talents in their prepared dance and song numbers that entertained the crowd. The famous mascot, Jollibee, also made a surprise appearance that thrilled the children.
Generous gifts and raffle prizes coming from OWWA and the event social partners, Provincial Government of Oriental Mindoro, LGUs of Bansud, Gloria, and Mansalay, and Paramount Life & General Insurance Corporation were also given to the families which flared up the spirit of sharing this Christmas.
Adults and children alike had fun with numerous games, dance numbers, and surprise appearance from Jollibee.
Chanting “kasali lahat, lahat kasali”, OFCs declared their unity as they took oath later in the event. Dir. Allan Ignacio of OWWA IV-B believes that through the establishment of OFCs, OFW families will continue to strengthen their bonds while participating in community events such as the OFW Family Day.
The OFW Family Day is an annual event of OWWA during the holiday season to welcome returning OFWs and at the same time, strengthen their bond with their families through activities that the whole OFW family will enjoy. OWWA Administrator Rebecca J. Calzado hopes that the unity of the family continue as OWWA bring priceless joy for each loving OFW family.
Koronadal City – Aiming to deliver the agency’s programs and services effectively with utmost efficiency, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office XII headed by OIC, Regional Director Marilou M. Sumalinog conducted the 2014 Year End Performance Assessment (YEPA) and Target Setting activity on January 16 – 17, 2015 at the Farm @ Carpenter Hill in Koronadal City.
Participating in the event were 16 members of the RWO’s vibrant staff, both in the Programs and Services Division (PSD), and the Administrative and Finance Unit (AFU).
Figure 1. OWWO II Jenny U. Umag, Scholarship Program Manager enthusiastically presents Accomplishment Report of the Programs and Services Division concerning the Education and Training Programs of the agency.
Consolidation of reports was done earnestly during a short brainstorming activity prior to presentation of accomplishments. Sumalinog urged the concerned personnel to provide appropriate facts and figures relative to the submitted monthly reports to avoid discrepancies in the SPRS report. Moreover, the head of the office encouraged the staff to raise their issues and concerns relative to the delivery of programs and services to come up with mechanisms that’s more convenient and highly beneficial to all the agency’s clienteles at the same time.
The programs and services division, headed by the OIC, PSD Chief Marlyn E. Jamero gladly announced the division’s actual accomplishments, mostly have exceeded the actual target in the calendar year 2014.
A total of 189 scholars were maintained under the Education for Development Scholarship Program, OFW Dependents Scholarship Program, and the Congressional Migrant Workers Scholarship Program.
147 OFW Family Circles in the entire SOCCSKSARGEN were likewise maintained, and were provided trainings on Values Formation, Organizational Development, and Financial Literacy. Furthermore, the said OFCs were invited to participate on various endeavors of the agency that promotes camaraderie and cooperation among its members.
While the PSD’s accomplishments were drawn from actions on the ground, underlying factors that led to the success of various activities were reported by the AFU headed by the RWO’s Administrative Officer V, Kimmy A. Lopez.
However, a few outputs were observed by the head of the office to be a bit shorter than expected. Hence, Sumalinog advised the program managers and all the personnel concerned to devise a plan as well as strategies, which are effective and flexible at the same time, to avoid problems in the future and increase the chances of achieving the targets in the Fiscal Year 2015.
“I do hope that what we have discussed in this activity will be of great help in carrying out our tasks effectively, for the betterment of the regional welfare office, and goodness of all our clienteles not only in the Fiscal Year 2015, but of all the years to come.”, Sumalinog said preceding the conclusion of the activity.
More than one thousand (1,000) OFWs and their families joined the celebration of the OFW Family Day last December 20, 2014 held at the Kadayawan Hall of NCCC Mall, Matina, Davao City. Members and non-members of OFW Family Circles from Davao City, Davao del Sur, and Davao del Norte attended the said celebration. With this year’s theme, “Ang Pasko ay kay saya, kapag pamilyang OFW ay sama-sama!”. OWWA aims to make this gathering a joyful and meaningful celebration.
OWWA XI OIC-Regional Director Eduardo E. Bellido welcomed guests and all participating members of the OFW Family Circles who travelled from Davao del Sur and Davao del Norte to join the event. Honored guests during the celebration were Mr. Gary Angelo Medina, in behalf of Hon. Councilor Antoinette G. Principe, DOLE Asst. Regional Director Venerando C. Cebrano, and some representatives from partner agencies. Mr. Medina gave an inspirational message by reading a story of an OFW parent with great love for her children. “Parents’ love is incomparable so you should be proud of their hard work”, said Mr. Medina while ARD Cebrano encouraged all OFWs and their families to enjoy the day with other OFW families and forget any problems.
The one day affair was filled with fun, games, surprises, and array of prizes. Highlights of the celebration were carol-dance contest and raffle of cash prizes, appliances, and other gift items from OWWA and some sponsors. For the carol-dance, five (5) OFCs composed of 10-20 members/beneficiaries of Davao City and Davao del Sur participated in the contest. They performed Christmas carols with dance choreography and judged according to their vocal harmony and dynamics, costumes, props, and choreography. Participating OFW Family Circles were Brgy. Piapi 21-C, Padada OFC, Dona Asuncion OFC, Bansalan OFC, and Malalag OFC. Of the five contingents, Padada OFC won the 1st prize and received Three Thousand Pesos (P3,000.00) in cash followed by Malalag OFC (2nd prize) who won P2,000.00, and Brgy. Piapi OFC (3rd prize) with P1,000.00 while Dona Asuncion and Bansalan OFCs received consolation prizes.
The celebration was made possible through the cooperation of major sponsors like BPI Family Bank, Land Bank of the Philippines, and Philam Life. Amazing dance and song numbers from local artists and OFW children entertained the whole crowd.
To make the celebration worth their while, some participants availed of the free medical service, courtesy of PHILHEALTH while others availed of the free body massage rendered by the members of Brgy. J.P. Laurel Panabo OFW Family Circle. Likewise, members of the Bago Aplaya OFW Family Circle displayed their laundry products during the event.
This year’s celebration marked another success of giving tribute to our modern day heroes. Through the able support of the Public Employment Service Office and active participation of the officers and members of OFW Family Circles, the celebration was successfully held.
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration – Regional Welfare Office XI conducted a seminar – workshop on Communication Enhancement Program to seafarers and dependents last December 19, 2014 at the Kadayawan Hall of the Royal Mandaya Hotel, Davao City. It was attended by fifty four (54) seafarers and dependents who are members of the OFW Family Circles in Davao City and some Seafarers Upgrading Program (SUP) scholars. Mr. Cristelito T. Abadilla and Hon. Sec. Marianito D. Roque were the Resource Persons while Family Welfare Officer Melody Ember P. Tomas facilitated the activity.
OWWA XI Regional Director Eduardo E. Bellido welcomed participants and expressed his gratitude for their presence. “This is a timely activity for us because during Christmas we forget to save”, said Dir. Bellido. The activity aims to provide the participants with inputs on proper financial management and to introduce a new communication tool that will be useful for the seafarers and their dependents.
Left – Mr. Cristelito T. Abadilla as he discussed financial literacy; Right – OIC-RD Eduardo E. Bellido in his welcome message
Former Sec. Marianito D. Roque as he gave sample Seafarers SIM Card to one of the participants
During the discussion, Mr. Cristelito T. Abadilla talked about the importance of Financial Literacy to the participants. “It is important to know the value of savings after a risky job at the sea”, said Mr. Abadilla. Likewise, he gave simple tips on financial management that can be applied to their family. In order for the participants to be made aware of their expenses and income, a workshop detailing their expenses, including liabilities against their income per month was given. Through this activity, they were able to discover that they have incurred unnecessary expenses which they don’t need.
On the other hand, former DOLE Secretary Marianito D. Roque, talked about the new seafarers SIM card which was developed by Globe Telecom specifically for seafarers and their family. At the end of the activity, seafarers and dependents gained additional knowledge on managing their finances. They were thankful for the new communication tool introduced to them because they found it very useful in their daily lives.