Gov't agen­cies to help re­turn­ing OFWs in CAR

Sun.Star Baguio - - Top Stories -

NA­TIONAL line agen­cies in the Cordillera are col­lab­o­rat­ing to aid for­mer over­seas Filipino Work­ers OFW who opt to stay home.

Efren Piñol, re­gional di­rec­tor of Tech­ni­cal Ed­u­ca­tion Skills De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (TESDA) in Cordillera, said his agency had met with the Cordillera of­fices of the De­part­ment of La­bor and Em­ploy­ment (DOLE) and the Over­seas Work­ers Wel­fare Ad­min­is­tra­tion (OWWA) to plan how to con­form with Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s or­der to as­sist the OFWs who de­cide to stay in the coun­try and find an em­ploy­ment or to en­cour­age the sec­tor to re­turn home to their fam­i­lies and be as­sured of an in­come.

"We are do­ing a col­lab­o­ra­tion to plan out and come up with pro­grams on how to as­sist the sec­tor,” Piñol said.

Piñol added TESDA has skills train­ing avail­able for the sec­tor and the OFWs could avail of the govern­ment schol­ar­ship.

The TESDA of­fi­cial added re­turn­ing or stay­ing home OFWs would be given pri­or­ity, based on the skill they want to learn or en­hance, and get a na­tional cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

“Ang TESDA gus­tong-gusto na maka pag un­dergo ng skills train­ing ang at­ing mga kababayan para may mag­a­mit sila na maka­hanap ng tra­baho o di kaya ay maka­pag sim­ula ng negosyo na pagkakak­i­taan nila at sa kalau­nan ay maka­pag­bi­gay ng hanap­buhay sa ibang kababayan,” he said.

While TESDA is will­ing to pri­or­i­tize the sec­tor for schol­ar­ship grants, Piñol said the agency has no way of know­ing who the OFWs are, thus the col­lab­o­ra­tion.

Piñol fur­ther ex­plained that dur­ing the meet­ing, they had agreed to get the ac­tual names of OFWs to en­cour­age them to take ad­van­tage of the govern­ment’s pro­grams.

The list, he said, would be pro­vided by the OWWA, com­plete with the ad­dresses.

DOLE re­gional di­rec­tor Eze­quiel Guz­man mean­while said the la­bor de­part­ment gives as­sis­tance to re­turn­ing OFWs, es­pe­cially those who had left the coun­try un­doc­u­mented, hold­ing on to em­ploy­ment prom­ises of some peo­ple, only to end up empty handed and come back home.

Guz­man ex­plained through the na­tional rein­te­gra­tion cen­ter for OFWs, those from the Cordillera are re­ferred to their of­fice and are pro­vided the ap­pro­pri­ate as­sis­tance in the form of starter liveli­hood kit amount­ing to P20,000.

He also men­tioned OFWs, who were for­mer teach­ers in the coun­try but had opted to leave for greener pas­ture abroad. “We have a tie-up with the De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion (DepEd),” he said.

Guz­man said about 25 to 30 such OFWs in 2017 were hired by the govern­ment as teach­ers in pub­lic ele­men­tary or high schools and are now per­ma­nent DepEd em­ploy­ees.

The DOLE also pro­vides teach­ing kits to the teach­ers, Guz­man added.

The Pres­i­dent had re­peat­edly urged OFWs to re­turn home and avail of the ser­vices of the dif­fer­ent govern­ment depart­ments.

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