QUEZON CITY- More than 200 former overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in Region 02 have availed Welfare Assistance Program (WAP) of the Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA).
In Philippine Information Agency Region 02’s Tipon-Tipan on Tuesday, September 26, OWWA Regional Director Pilipina C. Dino said the agency has given P20,000 assistance for each worker since 2015.
Dino said the WAP aims to help unsuccessful and inactive OFWs.
DOLE National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) Region 02 Labor Employment Officer III Sheilanee Mamuric said that DOLE has also approved 111 applications for the livelihood development assistance program (LDAP) or “Balik pinay, balik hanap buhay” for distressed female workers.
Mamuric said they are also profiling undocumented OFWs from the region.
DOLE estimatesthat 85% of OFWs are unsuccessful. Most of which have worked in the Middle East.
DOLE Regional Director Manuel Roldan said that most workers who seek employment abroad have no concrete plan. He added that they usually get ‘culture shocked’ upon arrival, resulting from not paying attention to or not taking seriously pre-departure orientations (PDOs).
Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Region 02 OIC Director Romeo Jaramilla said they are also addressing cases of illegal recruitment. He said the POEA has been conducting information dissemination to educate all who seek to work abroad about their requirements and process.
Jaramilla said POEA also provides information on how to prevent illegal recruitment or any irregularities. He said illegal recruitment may also cover agents who have no license but works for a licensed agency. He added that even licensed agencies that do prohibited acts like overcharging of placement fees are accountable.
Jaramilla said that the law penalizes recruitment agencies who violate legal recruitment procedures. He said those who violate may pay P500, 000 to P1 million fine; with imprisonment of six years to reclusion perpetua.
As of July 05, 2016, OWWA Region 02 has a total of 146, 335 OFW members. Isabela has the most with 64, 424, followed by Cagayan with 53, 309, said Dino. Nueva Vizcaya has 23, 379 OFWs and Quirino has 7, 800. 429 OFWs are from Batanes. Northernforum.net