BAGUIO CITY, June 18 (PIA) - - The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration(OWWA) – Cordillera Administrative Region treated over 700 Overseas Filipino Workers, returnees and family members to a day of fun, learning and free health and wellness services at St. Vincent Gym here last June 9, in celebration of Migrant Workers Day.
Invited guests and OWWA – Cordillera staff themselves provided entertainment while OFW Family Circles (OFCs) from the six provinces added excitement with their entries in the singing and cultural dance contests.There was free medical/eye check – up with Department of Health and other health partners and free haircut, massage and manicure/pedicure services by theTechnical Education and Skills Development Authority.
For the learning part, there were emergency/disaster preparedness presentations and demonstration of Basic Life Support.
Benefits under OWWA programs such as the Balik– Pinas Balik Hanapbuhay program provided P20,000 livelihood assistance to returning OFWs who are either displaced abroad, victimized by illegal recruitment or repatriated; Education and Livelihood Assistance Program (ELAP) for children of active OWWA members who died or convicted OFWs meted with death penalty in the host country; Welfare Assistance Program which covers calamity, bereavement, medical or relief assistance as well as beneficiaries of the various scholarship program of OWWA, were also given to some beneficiaries.
OWWA OIC Regional Director Evelyn Laranang outlined that the annual observance of Migrant Workers Day is by virtue of Republic Act 8042 or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act of 1995.
It aims to give recognition to the contribution of OFWs in nation building and to their sacrifices to work abroad amid the social cost of migration, as well as to highlight the government’s effort in the protection and promotion of the interest and welfare of Filipino migrant workers.
Laranang also shared the good news in OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac Migrant Workers’ Day message, which include an approved P2.7 and P2.9 billion budget for 2018 and 2019, respectively, for programs and services that will directly benefit OFWs and OWWA members.
There is also a continuing assistance to OFWs who want to return to the country including around 6,000 OFWs in Kuwait who went home this year.
OWWA is also investing in technologies that can help OFWs such as the OWWA Mobile Phone App that will also soon come in with an electronic card and the interconnection with Landbank and Bancnet for contribution payment. Carlito C. Dar (JDP/CCD with K. Jocson-PIA CAR/UC Intern)