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PIA Press Release

OWWA's Microsoft Tulay project benefits 2,194 OFWs, kins

by MA Loterte and MAI Arana

Legazpi City (18 February) -- Some 2,194 Albayanos, particularly overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their dependents, have graduated from the free computer literacy training under the Microsoft Tulay Project of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) in Bicol since 2007.

OWWA Bicol Regional Director Jocelyn Hapal said the project has provided opportunities to OFW families in terms of learning new technology, enabling them to communicate with their loved ones abroad through e-mail, chat, blogging, and other social networking tools.

"We are preparing to make the computer training mobile and bring it to provinces, especially to Camarines Sur where there are many OFW families. This agency is already negotiating with the management of the Shoemart (SM) in Naga City for a space inside the mall to accommodate the training program," she added.

Two batches of OFW families will be trained every Saturday and Sunday for two months at the OWWA regional office here. One personal computer is designated for every trainee to facilitate efficient fast and efficient learning.

Microsoft Corporation's accredited trainers will provide training on at least eight courses, including basic computer fundamentals, word processing, spreadsheet, power point, database, internet use, digital media, and web design.

Hapal, meanwhile, told PIA News Service that OWWA in Bicol is also targeting affected families of Mayon eruption, particularly those displaced from their homes, to benefit from the same training program.

"Their livelihood and other sources of income were damage or lost in the course of the recent Mayon eruption, so the agency sees the need to provide these local with their needs and in the long run help them to mainstream their craft in putting up small business venture, the likes of printing of documents, cards, encoding service, technical, troubleshooting, designs, among others," elaborated the OWWA Bicol chief.

She bared that residents of Barangay Caguiao in Guinobatan town are already into the training program held at the barangay hall. OWAA brings along the hardware, particularly laptop computers, to the target barangay which locals used during the training.

The agency also plans to implement the same program in affected barangays Sto. Domingo, Albay, as well as for OFWs and their families in Sorsogon and Camarines Norte provinces.

Tulay project is a part of the Microsoft Unlimited Potential Community Skills Program of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and OWWA since 2004. (PIA/BUCAL) [top]

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