Owwa cares-A A +A
At Close Range
Sunday, September 1, 2013
IN A Capability Building Seminar for Migrant Desk Officers/PESO held at Hotel Stotsenberg, Clark Freeport Zone, Mabalacat City on August 29 and 30, 2013, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa) Regional Welfare Office 3 highlighted the programs, services and orientation of this Dole-attached agency toward the welfare, support and care of overseas Filipino workers, their dependents and families.
While the processing and deployment of qualified overseas workers are within the POEA's ambit of responsibility, the Owwa steps in on matters bearing on the settled OFWs in foreign destinations.
The seminar was ably steered by Romeo David and commendably backstopped by the Owwa Region 3 staff. It was attended by Pampanga PESO officers led by Pampanga provincial PESO manager Luningning Y. Vergara and some from the Dole provincial field office headed by Arlene Tolentino.
Among the programs and services of Owwa which were discussed were: 1) social benefits consisting of disability and dismemberment benefits for injuries sustained by the Owwa member due to accidents while working abroad, death and burial benefits; and 2) education and training benefits/assistance consisting of: pre-departure education program, scholarships, training and incentive programs composed of scholarship and incentive programs for OFWs and seafarers and dependents. There are short-term training programs for OFWs and their dependents.
Additionally, Owwa provides on-site welfare case management that "includes requests for assistance on OFWs' whereabouts, psycho-social counseling, conciliation, airport assistance, hospital/prison/work camp visitations and legal assistance.”
And on in-country welfare case management, Owwa addresses "requests by families and next-of-kin for assistance, from Post, post-repatriation assistance, counseling, referrals and other concerns." There are 24/7 Operation Centers and Owwa regional offices on hand to serve OFWs and their dependents.
Membership fee is quoted at US $25.00 but the benefits are aplenty.
Owwa also has a repatriation program intended to bring distressed OFWs back to the country, or in the case of deceased OFWs, the remains are also properly brought back to the country and then to the places of origin.
It also has a reintegration program to allow returning OFWs to conveniently mainstream into the society. To cap the services thus far cited, the government also provides livelihood and financial assistance to the OFWs and their families.
The theme Owwa Cares is no vain claim. The OFWs are well taken care of, yes, in about all phases of their lives, from deployment, to repatriation and reintegration.
Because of the magnitude and scope of Owwa’s tasks, this is one agency which budget should be beefed up (read: increased) to allow it to carry out its programs, services and commitments to the modern-day heroes, our Overseas Foreign Workers.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on September 02, 2013.