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National Capital Region

Engineer Carlos Miguel Cacatian, scholar of Batch 9 of the Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP), recently passed the 2017 Mechanical Engineering Board Examinations visited the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office – National Capital Region (OWWA RWO-NCR).


After more than 5 years, Engr. Carlos Miguel Cacatian has finally achieved his dream of becoming a Licensed Mechinal Engineer. He graduated from Mapua Institute of Technology on 20 February 2017 and immediately passed the Mechanical Board Examinations on 22 March 2017. Engr. Cacatian took his oath as a Licensed Mechanical Engineer at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) on 1 May 2017.


Like most of the students, Engineer Cacatian also had his fair share of ups and downs during his college life. “I failed twice under the same professor. What hurts most is that I was already in my 4th year in college when I first failed,” he said. But instead of giving up, he was motivated to study harder to complete his education.


College life


Engr. Cacatian is the son of an OFW who works at the Off Shore Gas Company in New Orleans, United States of America. When asked on why he took up Mechanical Engineering, he said that his father greatly influenced him and he believes engineering is in demand with higher opportunity for employment. In his college days, he was active in extracurricular activities and was once a Treasurer of his school organization. In his first year, he joined a Goldberg making competition along with his batch mates. Engr. Cacatian passed his first 3 years in college with flying colors as he was part of the top 10 in his batch in the Engineering course. However, when he reached 4th year college, he failed two subjects under the same professor. When asked why he failed those subjects, Engr. Cacatian explained, “I failed my first subject because of the style of teaching of my strict professor. I also had a hard time because of the schedule of that subject; that subject is scheduled every Saturday morning but I had also classes every Friday night. As for the second subject, the passing grade for the final exam was 80 but I only got a grade of 79 that is why I failed the subject.”


Lessons Learned


Engr. Cacatian leaned on his family’s support when he failed his subjects. According to him, his family was a bit disappointed since he only had a year and a half to finish college without any failing mark but they were still there to encourage him to do better, “My family told me to study harder and improve my grades. They told me that I should pass that subject in the next term.” He learned a valuable lesson during the tough times that he encountered: Time Management. He stressed the importance of using one’s time wisely, “Time management is very important because it helps you to be productive. It is hard to waste one’s time.”  He also pointed out the importance of putting a lot of effort into studying by saying, “When I retook those failed subjects, I made sure to put all my effort into it to make sure that I will not fail again. I was afraid to fail again because I value my scholarship.”


EDSP Scholarship


Engr. Cacatian applied for the scholarship because he did not want to burden his family and he wanted to help his parents in paying his tuition. He feels thankful for the opportunity given to him and for helping him to become a better student, “I would like to thank OWWA for giving me the opportunity to become a scholar, it helped us a lot financially. I also feel grateful because I improved my study habits and became more responsible by managing my time wisely because I had to maintain my scholarship status.” He also gave an advice to the remaining scholars by saying, “Just focus and prioritize your studies. Also, you should not waste your time because you cannot bring it back anymore.”

Engineer Carlos Miguel Cacatian together with Education and Training Unit Head Vivian Velez


Engineer Carlos Miguel Cacatian together with his family.


Engineer Carlos Miguel Cacatian during his oath taking on 1 May 2017.

Carlos Miguel Cacatian during his graduation at Mapua Institute of Technology on 20 February 2017

National Capital Region

Gene Luche Battung, scholar of Batch 11 of the Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP), recently graduated Magna Cum Laude from Air Link Aviation International College on 11 April 2017 visited the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office – National Capital Region (OWWA RWO-NCR).


Life in the Middle East


Gene left the Philippines when he was in Grade 5 to live in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) because his father will work as a Service Manager in Saudi Oger. His mother also stayed in KSA to take care of them. After graduating from Palm Crest International High School, Gene returned to the Philippines to pursue his college education. He felt lonely and incomplete because his parents were left behind in Riyadh. He said that, “Even my brother was with me in the Philippines, I felt at a loss because anything I need, my parents will always be there to provide. At the same time, I had to cope with the new life style and I got culture shock at first.”  He added that distance from his family for the first time did not hinder him from studying hard and graduating with Latin Honor. Being on his own during his college years was his source of motivation to make his parents proud.


College Life


When asked why he took the course in Aircraft Maintenance, Gene immediately answered that it was his dream since he was a child. He recalled that, “since I was a kid, every time I will be asked what I wanted to be when I grow up? My response will be “I want to become a Pilot”. I chose my course since it is related to the course that I originally wanted to take, which is flying.” Gene felt his college days were short-lived but he enjoyed it so much because he only completed his course in 3 years. He said that graduating from college at aged 18 is quite worrisome and if he is ready for the real world. The present struggle he is facing now is the fast paced world outside school.  After 3 years, Gene has succeeded in achieving a fraction of his dream to become a pilot with honor – Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Aircraft Maintenance Technology.


Struggles and Blessings


Even if he wanted to take a Flying course, Gene had to adjust due to financial constraints. “If given the opportunity I would take up a Flying course but due to financial constraints, I had to take up a different course. Definitely, I still do have a plan of studying again to become a Pilot.”


It was back in May 2016 when his parents returned to the Philippines because of the mandatory repatriation of the Philippine government. His father worked at Saudi Oger, one of the nine construction and maintenance companies which faced a financial crisis in Saudi Arabia. According to Gene’s father, Engineer Marcial Battung, he spent his own money to buy their plane tickets because they could no longer wait for the repatriation program of the government. Fortunately, Engr. Battung was recently hired as the Section Chief of the Fire Safety and Enforcement Education department of the Bureau of Fire Protection.


Future plans



Gene gave himself a timeline as well as viable options to help him achieve his dream of becoming a Pilot. “After I finish my 6-month internship at the Omni Aviation Corporation, I will complete all my requirements and take the licensure examination. From then, I have 2 viable options: first, is to continue working to be able to finance my studies and second, is to find a scholarship at any flying school,” he said.


EDSP Scholarship


Prior to the qualifying examination, Gene was not aware of the existence of the scholarship program of OWWA. He only found out about the EDSP when his school chose him, along with other students, to take the qualifying exams. “I felt blessed when I received that opportunity. I felt more blessed when the results came out that I was one out of the 3 passers from our school,” he said.


He is also thankful for the support that he received from OWWA for the past 3 years. “For everyone in OWWA, thank you so much for the help. Please continue your generous work. You have been instrumental to improve our lives - to me and also to other students and OFWs out there. Please continue doing your great job and God Bless you all,” he said.         


Gene inspires other scholars by quoting a popular author - “They should continue aspiring for their dreams and when they encounter times of hardships, they should always remember to seek the seed of triumph in every adversity. They should not lose hope when times get hard and remember that they are doing this not only for themselves but also for their parents who worked hard and suffered many sacrifices while working overseas.” 

RWO-NCR Director Emma V. Sinclair and EDSP Scholar Gene Luche Battung holding Gene’s medal for graduating as Magna Cum Laude


From L to R: PSD Chief Ma. Teresa Capa, RWO-NCR Director Emma V. Sinclair, EDSP Scholar Gene Luche Battung, Dolores Battung, Gene’s mother, and Engineer Marcial Battung, Gene’s father


From L to R: RWO-NCR Director Emma V. Sinclair, ETU head Vivian Velez, EDSP scholar Gene Luche Battung, Dolores Battung, PSD Chief Ma. Teresa Capa and Engineer Marcial Battung.


Gene Luche Battung together with his parents and brother during his graduation day


 Gene Luche Battung, EDSP Batch 11 scholar, from Air Link Aviation International College graduated Magna Cum Laude on 11 April 2017


OWWA conducts Summer Youth Camp for Scholars

Attended by twenty-three (23) scholars from the Education for Development Scholarship Program, the OFW Dependent Scholarship Program, and the Education and Livelihood Assistance Program, the activity carried   the theme "I Am An OWWA Scholar. I Choose to be Healthy. I Choose to be Excel. I Choose to be Me: Guiding the Scholars in making right Choices.”


The summer youth camp provided participants an avenue to discuss issues affecting the youth of today like peer pressure, teenage sexuality, academic pressure, and their role in nation-building. 

Overseas Workers Welfare Officer II, and Mr. Remon Albeza, Family Welfare Officer, pose with the OWWA scholars during the distribution of certificates


OWWA Region 1 personnel learn on basic earthquake preparedness

The officers and staff of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office I (OWWA RWOI) set on a basic lecture and orientation on earthquake preparedness on May 8, 2017 as part of its activities on emergency planning. 


Mr. Freddie C. Evangelista and Ms. Schezelle Kriska Janica O. Doctolero of the Office of Civil Defense Regional Office I (OCD R1) served as learning service providers for the basic orientation.


They discussed on the procedures in conducting an earthquake drill, along with other vital information in preparing for any unforeseen natural disasters.


The lecture revealed the Phivolcs report that of the top 10 provinces which are at risk to earthquakes, La Union and Pangasinan rank second and fourth, respectively.


The OCD officers also identified the earthquake exit in the OWWA RWOI office. They also commited to extend assistance in creating disaster management council of the OWWA RWOI.

           The officers and staff of the OWWA RWOI sat on a basic lecture and orientation on earthquake preparedness on May 8, 2017. 



Another batch of aspiring loan applicants underwent Enhanced Entrepreneurial Development Training conducted by the OWWA RWO 8 in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry-Leyte last May 25, 2017 at the Negosyo Center, Eastern Visayas State University Campus, Tacloban City and was attended by twenty-two (22) loan applicants from the different parts of the region.


Participants were individually taught on how to prepare business plan by the DTI-Representative Ms. Wenna Jo Mantua. She also gave a short discussion and briefing on business management to the participants and provided useful tips that they can use as future entrepreneurs.


Since January 2017, more than one hundred loan applicants, active and inactive OWWA members, already underwent EEDT and were endorsed to Land Bank of the Philippines- Sagkahan Branch for assessment and approval.


EEDT is part of the social preparation given by OWWA to applicants of the OFW-Enterprise Development Loan Program (OFW-EDLP), an enterprise development intervention and loan facility of OWWA, in partnership with Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) that intends to support enterprise development among OFWs and their families. 

Ms. Magbuan discussing business management to the participants of EEDT

OWWA extends financial assistance to OFW injured in hacking incident

COTABATO CITY – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) extended financial assistance of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P 50,000.00) to Lenie Lamigan Tacpan a.k.a. OFW Jenelyn Mandamat Randing, 26 years old, with three kids who was badly injured in a hacking incident at Greenhills, Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.


Lenie Tacpan, an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) in KSA, as per her statement, went home for a vacation. According to her, she requested her live-in partner, the father of her three children whom she has long been separated, to bring his parents to her parent’s house to finally settle the issue of separation. Early morning of March 10, 2017, her partner entered the house unnoticed, went up stairs and using a Bolo, began to hack Lenie who was then sound asleep next to her sister. Their father who came to rescue was hacked as well. They were rushed to the hospital but Lenie got the fatal blow.


OWWA-ARMM Regional Director Amy B. Crisostomo personally visited Lenie in the hospital and coordinated with DSWD-ARMM to provide a psycho-social intervention to Lenie and to her children who witnessed the bloody incident. 

OFW Lenie Lamigan Tacpan a.k.a. OFW Jenelyn Mandamat Randing
Visit to OFW Lenie Lamigan Tacpan a.k.a. OFW Jenelyn Mandamat Randing at
Cotabato Regional and Medical Center, Cotabato City.



OWWA-Regional Welfare Office VIII congratulates Mr. Earl Antonell P. Doctolero, an EDSP scholar who graduated Cum Laude with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Tourism, Hotel and Restaurant Management (BSTHRM) at Leyte Normal University last March 29, 2017.


Mr. Doctolero has a single OFW brother and was an “active” OWWA member allowing him to take the EDSP qualifying examination for the batch 2013-2014.  Mr. Mark Elton P. Doctolero, brother of Earl, was a former Architect at Technical Vocational Training Corporation, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


Earl’s father is working as a Private Electrician while his mother is a freelance Book-keeper. Earl’s financial assistance amounting to Php 60, 000.00 per school year was a big help to him and his family’s financial dilemma.


Currently, Earl is helping his brother manage their small family business while looking for a job.


Earl expressed his plan to take internship at any restaurants in America to acquire more experience in the food industry during his interview with OWWA. Also, part of his long term plans, is to establish a restaurant in the Philippines and establish his name as one of the minor, even major contributor in food industry in Region 8.  


“Thank you so much OWWA for giving me a chance to be part of your “happy” family. For being my guide and for pushing me to strive harder, farther and to always give my best” said Earl during his interview with OWWA staff.

Earl (third from right) pose with his friends after his graduation.


Mr. Doctolero (left) during his graduation rites last March 29, 2017



OWWA Region 6 now accepts applicants for scholarship program

THE Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office (OWWA RWO) 6 is now accepting applicants for its Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP).


In its thrust to expand its program to all beneficiaries of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), OWWA has expanded the annual scholarship slots from 200 to 1,000.


Eligible beneficiaries are children of active OWWA members or their siblings (if unmarried or childless) who are not more than 21 years old, currently enrolled in Grade 12, and are incoming college freshmen belonging to the top 20 per cent of their graduating class.


Qualified applicants who are incoming college freshmen will be required to take the Department of Science and Technology’s national qualifying examination.


In addition, its scope also now includes members’ beneficiaries already enrolled in 2nd to 5th year of college who are single, not more than 30 years old, and with 85 per cent equivalence in all academic and non-academic subjects during the last school year attended in full load and will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.


A financial assistance of P60,000.00 per school year and a group health and accident insurance coverage of P300,000.00 are entitled to the scholars.


Mr. James Mendiola, Officer-In-Charge of OWWA RWO 6, emphasized that interested applicants should send their applications on or before July 31, 2017.


Application forms are provided at the OWWA Region 6 Office at Robinsons Place Iloilo City or are available for download at the following link:


Interested dependents may call the office for more details at telephone numbers (033) 509-1075 or 337-4484, or at (034) 432-2873 for the Bacolod City satellite office.

(FILE PHOTO) OWWA Region 6 staff with the Region 6 scholars during the OWWA Scholars’ Conference last December 2016. 


Tuloy-Aral Beneficiary Thank OWWA for the Assistance

Niña May M. Bago is the youngest of the three (3) sisters. Her parents were separated long time ago and she lived with her mother. The one supporting her education was her elder sister, Menchie who previously worked in Qatar and is now in Dubai as clerk. Her mother is unemployed and their daily subsistence depends largely on the remittances of her sister.


Niña enrolled BS Electro-Mechanical Technology at Mindanao University of Science and Technology now University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines in Cagayan de Oro City. In 2011, during her 2nd year in college, tropical depression “Sendong” submerged Cagayan de Oro City and her family saw the devastation of their small house including their belongings. OWWA-10 conducted profiling to those who are affected for extending possible assistance and her family was considered. She was included as beneficiary for the Tuloy-Aral Program. Through the facilitation of former Welfare Officer Leonor Mabagal of POLO-Greece, Alassia Newships Management Inc. became her sponsor and extend financial assistance until she graduated last March 2016.


Presently, Niña is working as a Safety Officer at Fresh Fruit Ingredients Inc. in Medina, Misamis Oriental. Niña extends her grateful appreciation to the generosity of Alassia Newships through the assistance she received in her schooling. She also thanked OWWA for coming-up with this kind of program that benefited the families of less fortunate OFWs.


OWWA-ARMM conducts monitoring activity to strengthen livelihood program

COTABATO CITY – Consistent in the bid to support and strengthen livelihood programs to its client-OFWs, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration - Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (OWWA-ARMM) conducted a monitoring activity to the Balik-Pinas, Balik-Hanapbuhay (BPBH) livelihood recipients last April 24-28, 2017.


Family Welfare Officer (FWO) Moctar S. Ulama lead the team. They interviewed the recipients to identify the needs of the OFWs and ensure that the agency continuously delivers quality programs and services for them.


“Through this monitoring activity, we determine whether the inputs in the projects were well utilized and to identify problems facing the community or project and finding solutions”, Ulama said.


OWWA-ARMM Regional Director Amy B. Crisostomo said the monitoring provides a means for the agency seeking to learn from their experiences and to incorporate them into policy and practice.


Nagpapasalamat po ako sa OWWA dahil hindi talaga nila kami pinapapabayaan. Nagpapasalamat din po ako dahil patuloy pa rin ang mga programang katulad nito na napakalaking tulong sa aming mga OFW”, one of the beneficiaries said.


Thus, OWWA-ARMM continues to seek prospective partners to provide the agency’s livelihood programs a wider range of opportunity that could best meet the needs and interests of their clients.