THE Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Families' Welfare and Crisis Center, under the City Social Welfare Development Office, assisted 222 client-OFWs and family members left behind in 2023.
"Sa atoang 2023, from January-December naka-serve ta og 222 nga individual clients, sa 222 na clients naa ta'y 108 individuals nga member of OFW families left behind, naa pud ta'y 144 distressed OFWs so mao na ang nag comprise sa 222 (In 2023, from January-December we have served 222 individual clients. Out of the 222, 108 individuals are members of families left behind, while 144 were distressed OFWs," CSWDO Social Welfare Assistant Rosevic Joey Jayme said in an interview with the City Information Office on Tuesday.
She said that of the number, 19 OFWs and 19 families left behind were able to avail a total of P 170,000 from the CSWDO crisis intervention fund.
"Mostly sa ilahang mga concerns nganong natagaan nato sila og Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) or financial assistance is katong nagsakit nga dili na nila kaya pud, although naka-refer nata sa Lingap, sa Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), sa Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), sa Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa) and Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) still kulang ang ilahang financial to provide for their [needs] labi na mostly naa'y mga cancer patients, naa pud ta'y repatriated nga OFW families, naa pud ta'y pamilya nga nangihanglan og assistance kay kulang ginapadala sa ilahang OFW kay nakasinati sila og distress didto sa gawas (Most of their concerns that made them eligible for the AICS or financial assistance is that they are sick or are in short in finances, although we have referred them to Lingap, to DSWD, to PCSO, to OWWA, and DMW--still they are short in their finances to provide for their needs, especially for cancer patients. We also have repatriated OFW families, and there are also members of the family who asked assistance as the remittance from their OFW family member is not enough due to the distress experienced by the latter)," Jayme said.
Since the assistance is limited, Jayme said that they also refer their clients to OWWA if they are an Owwa member, and if not they refer them to DSWD or DMW.
Jayme clarified that the social workers assess the needs of the clients should they need more assistance even if they have already availed of the same from other offices. She said they prioritize those who were not able to avail of assistance at all from partner agencies.
Meanwhile, livelihood assistance worth P10,000 for each beneficiary is also offered, and in 2023, five availed of this service: two families left behind and three distressed OFWs.
She said that the distressed OFWs who were able to avail of the program were those who had been repatriated because of a distressful situation or those who were not paid well by their employers.
"So pagka-repatriate sa ilaha since wala sila'y savings, wala na sila'y sweldo nga gidawat didto mao to ilang gina-express nga need is maka ano sila og capital assistance nga maka start sila or ma continue nila ilahang small business (Since they were repatriated with no savings, and no expected money to be received, they expressed that they need capital assistance to start or continue their small businesses)," she added.
Jayme said that rollback payments are collected every month for livelihood assistance. Social workers monitor every month the businesses of the recipients and if they pay regularly for the rollback payment. If the payments are collected on time, due to the thriving livelihood project and they can pay the 10,000, they will be allowed to receive again another Php 10,000 assistance.
She added that feasible business ventures proposed by clients are referred to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the latter may check if they are eligible for the agency's programs.
Jayme said that since being established in May 2022, her office observed several walk-in clients but the bulk of the inquiries they received are through the social media page of their office.
"Ang naga-contact sa amoa is ang OFW mismo sa gawas nga ang ilang pamilya diri patabangan nila kay naay concern (Those who contact us are OFWs abroad who request to help their families here who have a concern)," she said.
Aside from the assistance mentioned, the center also offers financial literacy seminars, livelihood workshops, business and economic workshops, personal development workshops, basic health care services, referrals to other government agencies, psychosocial counseling and therapy services, referrals to the City Legal Office about legal concerns, and advocacy initiatives.
For concerns, Dabawenyos may visit their office on 5th Floor CSWDO Bldg., A. Pichon St., Davao City, message them on their official Facebook account or contact them at 0999 994 firstname.lastname@example.org. CIO