Gov't agencies to help returning OFWs in CAR
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.