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OWWA Scholar in Region 1, a Certified Youth Parliamentarian

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.

OFW Families in MIMAROPA Celebrate OFW Family Day with OWWA

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.


OWWA RWO XII’s CY 2014 Performance, Assessed

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.

Thousands of OFWs and their families joined the OFW Family Day celebration in Davao City

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.

OWWA XI conducts Communication Enhancement Program to Seafarers and Dependents

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. 

85 OWWA Caraga scholars convene in a Scholars’ Conference

Butuan City (January 5, 2014) – Some eighty-nine scholars under OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (ODSP) and Educational Development Scholarship Program (EDSP) participated in the scholars conference organized by  the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Regional Welfare Office-Caraga held on December 23, 2014 in a local convention center here.


The scholars’ conference is part of the learning support mechanism for the scholarship grantees of OWWA.  It aims to assist in the academic life of the scholars by providing venue for learning sessions where they can gain academic tips and enhance their personalities to cope with the demands of the college life.      


The convention focuses on the topic “Personality Development.” Simultaneous discussions and workshops were exhaustively discussed and facilitated by two resource speakers Ms. Maristela Gales and Ms. Lorena Atuel, both Guidance Counselors of Father Saturnino Urios University, Butuan City.


“The conference really helps develop our personality and it strengthens us in facing our problems in school, especially in dealing with the peer pressure,” expressed an ODSP grantee, Rayven Pelayo, a third year criminology student at Southern Technological Institute of the Philippines (STIP) in Bislig City.


Rayven, whose brother works as a Service Crew at Mcdo in Oman, is likewise grateful to OWWA that he was given the chance to be granted with the scholarship program.


“I am thankful for this scholarship opportunity which is really of great support in my studies,” he said.


In her closing remarks, Ms. Ma. Ireen Cambaling bared, it is part of OWWA’s objective not only to support financially the scholars but also to continuously provide learning support mechanisms to help and guide them along their academic journey.


“This will not be the last time OWWA will conduct a scholars’ conference, but there will be more to be held next year and hopefully, what you learn from here will not only remain here but you will apply in your day to day experience,” Cambaling said. 


Eighty-five scholars of RWO Caraga participate in the Scholars’ Conference held on December 23, 2014

in a local convention center in Butuan City

Scholars undergo workshop and learning exercises during the Scholars’ Conference held on December 23, 2014 

Region VI OFWs, Dependents join early Christmas bash in OWWA’s OFW Family Day

Active and retired Overseas Filipino Workers and OFW dependents joined the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office VI (OWWA RWO VI) in celebrating the 2014 OFW Family Day as an early Christmas treat.


This year, OWWA RWO VI brought the celebration for the first time in different areas in Region VI. These areas were the recipients of the Cash for Work Program, which was implemented by the agency as an emergency employment scheme for OFW families affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda.


EARLY CHRISTMAS TREAT. (TOP) Children of OFWs showcase their dancing prowess during an intermission number;

(BOTTOM LEFT) OWWA FWOs, Sherwin M. Madayag and Larry Roque F. Apruebo assist recipients of the sacks of

rice during the raffle draw; (BOTTOM RIGHT) Kids enjoy a photo opportunity with the Jollibee and Storyland mascots.


Iloilo City Family Day


About 600 OFW Family Circle (OFC) members from the city area and nearby towns like Tigbauan, Pototan, Pavia, and Maasin attended the OFW Family Day at the Cinema 6, SM City Iloilo, Mandurriao, Iloilo City on December 07, 2014.


The event highlighted the raffle draw in which OWWA RWO VI gave away 146 grocery packs worth 300 pesos, 20 sacks of rice, rice cookers, stoves, microwave ovens, and washing machines and other special items.


Various performances from OFC members and Jollibee and Toy Kingdom mascots delighted the audience during the celebration.


Regional Director Ron Lionel M. Bartolome emphasized the intensification of community organizing and consolidation of OFCs as the primary target of the region in 2015. He also encouraged the strengthening of OFWs as a sector that could participate in local development plans and the Grassroots Participatory Budgeting program of the government.


“Kapag hindi po kayo nasali dun bilang isang sector sa proseso ng budgeting dun sa baba, hindi rin po kayo makakapasok sa provincial level. Kapag hindi po nakapasok ang OFW sector sa Regional Development Plan, hindi rin po kayo makakapasok sa National Development Program ng gobyerno.  Ngayon pagkakataon nyo na po yung Grassroots Participatory Budgeting para ang sector po natin ay marinig,” said Director Bartolome.


Family Day in the Provinces


On the other hand, various OFW groups commended the regional office for bringing the family day celebration closer to their homes for the first time.


A total of 130 CWAP availees participated in the Family Day activity at the Balay Kauswagan, Sagay City, Negros Occidental on December 09, 2014.


IN THE SPIRIT OF GIVING AND JOY. (LEFT) Children of OFWs receive school supplies as Christimas gifts.

(RIGHT) Members of OFCs participate in the Trip to Jerusalem game


Thirty six OFW beneficiaries from Numancia, Aklan held a simple Family Day program at their office on December 11, 2014.



On the other hand, 100 OFC members from Capiz celebrated the event at the Brgy. Basiao, Ivisan, Capiz on December 12, 2014. 



About 500 individuals from thirteen OFW groups in Concepcion and Carles, Iloilo celebrated the Northern Iloilo Family Day at Iyang Beach Resort, Concepcion, Iloilo on December 13, 2014.


LOUD AND PROUD. OFC group members sport their customized shirts for the event during the

Northern Iloilo OFW Family Day



Participants in the province-wide OFW Family Day also enjoyed games and the raffle draw with OWWA RWO VI giving away grocery packs worth 300 pesos, sacks of rice, and other special items.


This year’s OFW Family day is anchored on the theme, Ang Pasko ay kay saya, kapag pamilyang OFW ay sama-sama! The event is held annually to bring merriment and good cheer to OFWs and members of their family in celebration of family union and the spirit of Christmas.

OWWA RWO VI conducts Foot Reflexology Training to Seafarers, Dependents

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office VI conducted a training on reflexology to the members of Knutsen Philippines, Inc. Iloilo Family Chapter at the PDOS Room, OWWA RWO VI, Robinson’s Place, Iloilo City on December 18, 2014.


A total of 16 members of the OFW group who are either seafarers or seafarers’ wives, attended the said skills training and workshop.


Ms. Alma Bernadette Agor, along with her assistant, Mr. Reymund Cantara, served as the trainers in the workshop.


Modules for the training included discussion of the history of reflexology, its definition, and its purpose. In addition, the three techniques of foot reflexology, namely, the Western Technique (foot Scrub/Soaking), Oriental technique (Therapeutic), and the RWO Sur Technique (Foot Massage), were also covered.


After the lecture, the participants engaged in a foot reflexology workshop wherein they were asked to find a partner to perform and practice foot and hand reflexology.


The participants viewed their new learning as a useful skillset.


Mr. Agustin Fiel, a seafarer, and his wife, Analie, said they will do reflex massage to one another when one of them feels tired.


“We don’t need to go to the Spa anymore just to get a foot or hand reflex. My wife can now give it to me for free,” said a Mr. Fiel.


Mrs. Annabelle Malabanjot, on the other hand, revealed that she will teach her new skill to her husband.


“When my husband learned that I would join this training, he was very interested. He told me to teach him the basics because he is planning to offer reflexology to his co-workers on board. This way, he can earn extra income,” said Mrs. Malabanjot.


Reflexology is an alternative therapy involving application of pressure to specific points in the hand and foot thereby good blood circulation, maintain homeostasis, prevent high blood pressure, boost appetite and relieve insomnia.


This is only one of the various organizational development trainings given by OWWA RWO VI to members of recognized OFW Family Circles in the region.


The participants of the Reflexology Training with FWO Jade Love Omapas (extreme left).


The seafarers’ wives practice foot reflexology with their training partners.

OWWA Scholar Passes December 2014 Civil Engineering Licensure Exam

LEGAZPI CITY - OWWA Scholar Ray Alfie Collantes Banta passed the Civil Engineer Licensure Examination given by the Professional Regulation Commission on December 6-7, 2014. The result was released last December 11, 2014 wherein 4,021 out of 8,127 takers passed the examination.


Ray was granted full scholarship under the Education for Development Scholarship Program in 2009. He pursued his degree in Civil Engineering at Bicol University and successfully graduated last March 2014.


Ray is the son of Alberto B. Banta, an active OWWA member, who works as a Maintenance Technician at Mahmood Saeed Plastic Company in Saudi Arabia and Glenda C. Banta who manages a small store in their residence at Sto. Domingo, Albay.


He is currently applying for work in various construction firms in Manila. He is also reviewing for the Master Plumber Licensure Examination that will be conducted on February 11-12, 2015.