DTI, OWWA give new hope for distressed OFWs

Written by
  • Mhike R. C.
  • 8 years ago

BALANGA CITY, Bataan – One hundred thirteen distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from different towns of Bataan gathered yesterday at The Plaza Hotel here for a one day seminar on “Creating a Mindset for OFWs.”


Nelin Cabahug, OIC-provincial director of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-Bataan), said the activity is part of the small and medium enterprise roving academy (SMERA) in partnership with the regional office of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).


“OWWA will give financial assistance to them and our role in DTI is to capacitate them on money management and guide them on how to start a small business for them to survive despite losing their jobs abroad,” Cabahug told


Recently, Migrante-KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), an alliance of various Filipino groups in Saudi Arabia, welcomed the announcement of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration’s PhP500 Million Relief Assistance Program (RAP) for distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and their families.


Through a Memorandum of Instruction, OWWA announced an emergency financial assistance to each affected worker who are still at jobsite – Php20,000 (equivalent to SAR 1,590/-) to stranded and distressed OFWs and Php6,000 to their families back home.


Lizette Alonzo-Befetel, DTI Balanga Negosyo Center business counselor, facilitated the “Pangangasiwa ng Maliit na Negosyo” or the small business management seminar. She urged the OFW trainees to always have a positive outlook in life before starting any project, business or enterprise. “You can never win in life with a defeated mind,” Befetel told the trainees. “Malaking tulong po itong training na ito ng DTI. May guide na po kami para makapagsimula gamit ang financial assistance mula sa OWWA,” an OFW from Hermosa town said.


Meanwhile, Renard Bartolome, family welfare officer of OWWA Region 3, said that at present they are facilitating the relief operation of about 36,000 distressed OFWs in the province who lost their jobs in 9 companies in Saudi Arabia. “Almost all the OFWs from Bataan are skilled workers kaya mas madali silang makapag apply uli at makahanap ng bagong trabaho local man o abroad,” Bartolome told this reporter.


Bartolome cited the presence of industries here and training centers in Bataan as one of the major reasons why most Bataenos are skilled workers as compared to workers from neighboring provinces in the region.

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