CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)–Responding to the needs of distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)-10 provided over P16.3 million livelihood assistance to 880 OFWs in 2020-2021 through the Balik Pinas, Balik Hanapbuhay program.
“During sa pandemic, mostly atong mga distressed kay nanga-terminate sila nga wala sa panahon kay tungod kay nag-pandemic, nag-close ang ilang mga kompanya. Naa sa’y uban didto nga distressed gyud kay nabiktima sa mga maltreatment, mga illegal recruiters. Mao na sila ang pwede maka-avail,” said Eugene Mesias, OIC Programs and Services Division of OWWA-10 during the Talakayan sa PIA, July 4 at SM Downtown Premier, here.
(During the pandemic, most of the distressed OFWs are those who were terminated from their work because their companies have closed. There are also those who were distressed because they became victims of maltreatment, illegal recruiters. These are the people who can avail of the program)
From the said number, OWWA-10 provided livelihood to 395 OFWs amounting to P7.3 million in 2020 and P8.92 million worth of livelihood assistance to 485 OFWs in 2021.
To avail of the benefits of the said program, repatriated distressed OFW members should secure their OWWA membership records, application form with personal undertaking that the cash assistance will be used solely for livelihood activities, proof of repatriation, proof of displacement, and proof of residency.
Aside from the said program, OWWA-10 also supports the returning OFWs directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic through the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)-OWWA Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) program that covered 11,649 OFWs in the region with a financial assistance of P10,000 for each of the displaced OFW.
OFW groups also got livelihood assistance from OWWA-10 via Tulong PUSO (Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-unlad ng Samahang OFWs) where 36 groups with 747 members were aided with P9.35 million grant.
Helping OFW dependents
Aiding the dependents of OFWs in completing their education, OWWA-10 offers the Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP)– a scholarship grant to qualified dependents of OFWs consisting of a maximum of P60,000 per school year until the completion of baccalaureate course (4-5 years), where the region aids to 157 scholars.
They also have the OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (ODSP), which offers financial assistance amounting to P20,000 per school year to qualified dependents of OFWs who receive a monthly salary of not more than US $600. Currently, there are 240 scholars in the region.
“Naa ta’y mga slots nga i-allocate every province so sa incoming first year, duna kita’y 13 ka slots per province. Naa pud ta’y 12 ka slots para sa mga incoming 2nd year, 3rd year, 4th year. So all in all, 25 ka scholarship slots per province,” Mesias said.
(We allocated slots for every province. For the incoming first year, we have 13 slots per province. We also have 12 slots for the incoming 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year college students. So in total, we have 25 scholarship slots per province)
For survivors of deceased OFWs who were active OWWA members at the time of death and families of OFWs who are
incarcerated/convicted and meted out the death penalty in foreign countries, OWWA-10 offers the Education and Livelihood Assistance Program for the Dependents of Deceased OFW Members (ELAP) where the region has 222 scholars.
Interested scholarship applicants will just have to visit the nearest OWWA Regional Welfare Office.
To further help OFWs in determining necessary interventions from the government, OWWA-10 will hold the Regional Conference for OFW Organizations and Partner Stakeholders, July 5-6, 2022, here. (RTP/PIA-10)
Eugene Mesias (right), OIC Programs and Services Division of OWWA-10 says the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)-10 provided over P16.3 million livelihood assistance to 880 OFWs in 2020-2021 through the Balik Pinas, Balik Hanapbuhay program during the Talakayan sa PIA, July 4 at SM Downtown Premier, Cagayan de Oro City. (SAYU/PIA-10)