Guv calls Libya OFWs 'local heroes'-A A +A
Saturday, March 19, 2011
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – "You are heroes of Pampanga and we thank you very much for helping in the province’s growth and development."
Thus, said Governor Lilia Pineda on Thursday as she led officials of the Pampanga Center for OFW Concerns (Pacoc), provincial Public Employment Services Office, Clark Development Corporation, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Department of Labor and Employment, and Provincial Cooperative Entrepreneurship Development Office in addressing the needs of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
Some 262 repatriated Kapampangan OFWs met the governor at Max’s Restaurant in Villa Del Sol for lunch to hear alternative programs the Provincial Government has in store for them like employment, livelihood projects and skills training.
“Ang inyong mga remittance ay malaking tulong sa probinsiya. Kaya naman kayo ay mga tunay na bayani ng Pampanga. Hindi namin kayo pababayaan at lahat ng tulong ay aming ibibigay,” Pineda told the OFWs.
For starters, Pineda ordered the release of one sack of rice each for the OFWs, as well as the reimbursement of their fare in going to and from the forum’s venue.
The governor also said that POEA director Joyce Sanchez, a Kapampangan, has vowed to give top priority to Kapampangan OFWs from Libya. Almost all of the repatriated workers want to go back abroad since they said wages here are not enough to address the needs of the families.
“Top priority kayo ng POEA. May mga oportunidad tayo ngayon tulad sa Korea. Sana ay matapos na ang gulo sa Libya para makabalik na kayo,” said Pineda.
Pineda told Sun.Star Pampanga: “Sabi nila kanina sa akin ay nasanay na sila sa mataas na sweldo. Hindi ko rin sila masisi kung ikukumpara mo sa per day na P300 plus ay hindi nila kaya. Kaya gusto nilang bumalik sa abroad.”
Pineda, however, said that she asked the PCEDO to look into possible livelihood ventures for the OFWs and their families while waiting for other opportunities.
“Ito ay habang naghihintay pa sila at on standby. Kung ano ang kakayahan nila ay tutulungan sila ng PCEDO dahil puwede silang mag-loan doon ng P50,000 up to P100,000. Iyung mga anak din nila na may kakayahan ay puwede nating ipasok ng trabaho tulad sa CDC.”
The OFWs thrice gave Pineda a standing ovation while thanking her for the support she has extended them.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on March 19, 2011.