PGMA orders OWWA to set up 'OWWA Tambayan' for OFWs in Hong Kong
Hong Kong (via PLDT) (1 April) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to set up an "OWWA Tambayan" here where Hong Kong-based overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) could converge on their days off from work.
Filipino workers here, particularly the domestic workers who comprise the bulk of OFWs in this former British colony, usually converge in public parks on Sundays.
The President ordered the setting up of the OWWA center cum "tambayan" when she had coffee last night (Sunday, March 30) with officers of five HK-based OFW organizations at the Grand Hyatt Hotel here.
The President's directive was warmly welcomed by the OFWs in this former British crown colony.
The Chief Executive, who had just addressed a gathering of the members of the Hong Kong Filipino community at the hotel's Tiffin Lounge, directed Acting Labor Secretary Marianito Roque to up the said tambayan "as soon as you locate a place."
She also urged the OFWs to sell Filipino products in the soon-to-rise OWWA center, and even become franchise holders of the "Tindahang Pinoy."
The Tindahang Pinoy is a new entrepreneurship program of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to propagate native Philippine products.
Thanking the Filipinos here for their continued support, the President also granted their request for the government to set up OFW Affairs Desks in local government units (LGUs) in the Philippines, "especially in areas with substantial OFW deployment."
Also approved was the request of the OFWs for the setting up of OFW wards in government hospitals which the President said could start with the Philippine General Hospital (PGH).
Also during the coffee with the President were Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo, Press Secretary Ignacio R. Bunye, Philippine Ambassador to China Sonia Cataumber-Brady, RP Consul-General to HK Alejandrino Vicente, and Eastern Samar Governor Ben Evardone, secretary-general of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP).
The OFWs represented in the coffee with the President came from the ranks of the "PGMA Pa Rin," also known as GMPA for "Galing Manggagawa Pinoy Abroad," WoMed HK, Federation of Visayas Associations in HK, Black Panther Consolidated – HK, and the World Organizers of Martial Arts–HK. (PIA-MMIO) [top]