OWWA Releases P7.5M For ‘Balik Pinas Balik Hanapbuhay’ Program

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration has released P7.58 million in livelihood assistance to its member-migrant workers under the “Balik Pinas Balik Hanapbuhay” program during the first three months of the year.

OWWA Davao Region Director Petrona Bergado said the money was released to 379 overseas migrant workers out of the 600 applications that OWWA received from those who have returned from overseas across the globe. Each applicant received P20,000 in cash assistance for livelihood projects mostly in agriculture production.

There are still 87 applications on a process, said Bergado during Monday’s Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Annex. She added that OWWA is assisting with small livelihood projects for OWWA members.

OWWA has allocated P12 million for livelihood assistance, on top of the welfare assistance, medical and calamity aid that OWWA members could avail.

A loan facillity is also available for overseas workers who want to engage in business enterprise and scholarship programs – the OFW Dependent Scholarship, the Congressional Migrant Workers Scholarship and the Sills-for-Employment Scholarship.

The loan program is a partnership with the Development Bank of the Philippines and LandBank which offer lower interest rates compared to commercial banking offers. OWWA’s role is to provide training on business enterprise under this partnership.

OWWA has recorded 10 million overseas workers, with the Davao region numbering to 201,000 active and inactive members.

For non-members or undocumented Filipinos migrant workers, Bergado said assistance is provided by the National Reintegration Center for Overseas Filipino Workers.

“OWWA is a membership agency,” she responded when asked the kind of assistance for undocumented overseas migrant workers.

Meanwhile, OWWA is all set for the 23rd Migrant Workers Day on June 9 that will be held at the New City Hall Atrium in Tagum City, Davao del Norte. The event is expected to draw 1,000 active and inactive OFWs who are either members of the OFW Family Circles or permanently returned migrant workers.

Bergado said various activities will be held to honor and empower OFWs. A trade fair will highlight the event and this will also serve as the venue for OFWs to sell their various product lines.

The Migrant Workers day is celebrated pursuant to the Republic Act 8042 or the Magna Carta for OFWs approved in 1995.