SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union, June 25 (PIA) — More than 800 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs – active and returnees), dependents, and their family members in the whole region joined the celebration of Migrant Workers’ Day held at the Pacoy Gymnasium here recently.
Spearheaded by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA-RFO1), in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-1) and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA-1), the celebration started with a 3K fun run participated by employees of the different line agencies, academe/schools, non-government organizations, and other stakeholders in the region.
Among the highlights of the celebration were mini-trade fair featuring products of former OFWs who are now successful entrepreneurs; and service booths that included free calls and blood-letting activity and other medical services led by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) – La Union Chapter.
The gradutes of Balik-Pinay, Balikhanap Buhay project of the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) also offered free manicure-pedicure, haircut, and massage.
Service booths were also given to agencies where services/programs were offered to OFWs and their families. Among the participating agencies include the DOLE, POEA, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHILHEALTH), Home Development Mutual Fund (HMDF), Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), National Statistics Office-La Union (NSO), and Public Employment Service Office (PESO).
As part of the program, two active OFW organizations from Pangasinan: Mangaldan OFWs Returnees and their Dependents Association (MORADO) and Bani OFW and Family Circle were chosen to share the best practices based on the socio-economic impact and local level assistance given to the members of the association and their families.
OWWA RFO1 Labor Communication Officer Amapola Villar said that successful enterprises in La Union owned by former OFWs were also invited to present a quick demonstration, marketing, and packaging of their products.
This event was not only a day of festivity but it was also a venue to promote and provide welfare services to our OFW clients and their families and to thank them, Villar added.
On the other hand, La Union Vice Governor Aureo Nisce recognized the heroic contribution of the OFWs as he regards them the “greatest contributor” to the country’s economy.
“In support, a total of P25,000 was donated by the provincial government for the five-day training on Wellness Massage held on June 11-15 for distress OFWs in La Union,” Nisce said.
In closing, OWWA-1 officer-in-charge Esperanza C. Cobarrubias expressed her gratitude to all stakeholders, partner-agencies, private sectors, civil organizations, and local government units who contributed to the success of the event including their sponsors like the Globe Telecom, Bank of the Philippine Island, and AXA Investment and Insurance Company.
The celebration’s theme this year is “OFW, sa Sipag at Galing, Bilib Kami Sa’yo”. (JCR/EMR-PIA 1, La Union)