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OWWA to Expand Pre-departure Seminars
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) plans to expand its Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) so that this will now include dependents or families of overseas Filipino workers, according to OWWA 6 Family Welfare Officer Rizza Joy Mapa.
PDOS is a mandatory requirement for all OFWs before they are deployed to their country of destination. It aims to prepare OFWs to cope with the new culture and work environment of their host countries.
On the other hand, Mapa said the PDOS for OFW Family intends to help dependents or families of OFWs cope with the challenges of separation, to understand migration realities and financial literacy, and to inform them about OWWA programs and services, among others.
Mapa said Western Visayas is one of the three regions in the country being considered as pilot areas for the PDOS for OFW Family.
“The initiative is part of the continuing efforts of OWWA to look into the rising needs not only of our OFWs but also their families or dependents,” said Mapa in response to the queries on how the OWWA could help OFW families access government programs and projects and give importance to their remittances, during the round table discussion at UP-Visayas Training Room, Iloilo City.
The roundtable discussion was held to get the responses of concerned agencies in Western Visayas on how they can best address the needs of the OFW families based on the focus group discussions conducted by Women’s Feature Service Philippines, in line with its study on the impact of female migration on Filipino families.
The three FGDs were participated in by OFW children, teachers, parents and carers/guardians here in the city and province of Iloilo.
Some of the recommendations of the study are the following: counseling program or support organizing groups for carers or guardians of OFW families wherein they can get tips on good financial management, dealing with school, appropriate discipline and response to sensitive child issues like sexuality, physical/sexual abuse, special education services, among others; inventory of skills for carers and guardians to be done by concerned government agencies to provide jobs and other opportunities for self-employment; counseling centers with programs focusing on family issues involving OFW parents effective communication with guardians and absent parents, among others.