OWWA: giving hope to OFWs
by Lovely Laudette D. Gamba
BUTUAN CITY (1 August) -- Thirty OFWs and their dependents in Caraga have benefited in the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Educational and Training Benefits from 2004 up to present. These include nine beneficiaries for the Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP), one for Congressional Migrant Workers Scholarship Program (CMWSP) and twenty for the Seafarers Upgrading Program (SUP).
The EDSAP is a scholarship program for active OFW members of OWWA and their dependents with financial assistance not exceeding Php. 30,000 per semester. CMWSP on the other hand is a scholarship grant for non-active OFW dependents, those that are former OFWs but are now jobless. While SUP is a job-related skills training for the Filipino seafarers. Its financial assistance range from Php. 1,200 tp Php. 7,500.
One beneficiary of the CMWSP, Valerin Torralba of Talacogon, Agusan del Sur relates how OWWA scholarship changed his life. He said, "When my father went abroad, he never bothered to come home or even write us much less send money for us. I was the most difficult time of my life. My mother is just a church worker earning Php. 2,000 a month and I was about to go to college. Luckily my mother learned about the scholarship program of OWWA. Because of that scholarship, I have graduated and I am now a high school teacher at Del Monte National High School in Talacogon."
The continuous upgrading by OWWA of its services is in support of President Arroyo's mandate of protecting the welfare of the OFWs. The President recognizes the significant contribution of the overseas workers sector in the country's economy. And her administration is actively providing all-out support to them and their dependents through educational and livelihood assistance programs. (PIA-Caraga) [top]