• P10-million livelihood program for returning OFWs

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    THE Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) will provide P10 million for the livelihood program of 14 returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

    Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the budget was allocated by the government for the livelihood assistance to the OFWs who wanted to begin a small business in the country.

    “The OWWA in Region 9 is providing our returning OFWs the assistance that they deserve, proof positive that when we put our hearts in what we do, we make impact,” Baldoz said.

    Baldoz has cited reports from OWWA Region 9 Director Hassan Gabra Jumdain.

    Jumdain said the OWWA regional office gave P30,000 to three former OFWs under the National Reintegration Center.

    OWWA had helped sustain and maintain the small business of nine entrepreneurs of former OFWs with a P10 billion fund from the Landbank of the Philippines under the P2-billion National Reintegration Program.

    Two more OFWs got P19,618.85 for two livelihood projects under the OWWA’s Enhanced Livelihood Assistance Program (ELAP), bringing the total number of jobs created and sustained during the three-month period to 14.

    In addition, the OWWA has endorsed to the LandBank 75 more projects, which are currently in the pipeline.

    Meanwhile, Jumdain said that the some 26, 434 OFWs in region 9 had availed the assistance program of the government in the first three months in 2014 after they were repatriated from Sabah.

    “They [OFWs] were temporarily housed at the One-Stop Shop Processing Centers [OSPCs] in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi and in Zamboanga City,” Jumdain said in his report.

    Under the DOLE’s program the OWWA has trained 174 OFWs and 2, 731 were oriented on the legal processes of overseas employment.

    He added that the OWWA has been conducting Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) and the Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program—a language and culture familiarization for Middle East-bound workers twice a week since January. A total of 814 OFWs attended these two orientation seminars.

    Also in January, OWWA Region 9 paid P185, 815 for the education of its 20 scholars under the SESP and P150, 000 for 15 scholars under the ODSP.

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