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PIA Press Release

Over 250 displaced OFWs seek help from OWWA-7 on livelihood programs

Cebu City (19 February) -- A total of 281 displaced overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have approached the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA-7) in the region to seek assistance on special livelihood programs intended for OFWs who have lost their jobs amid the global economic crisis.

OWWA-7 Information Officer Ma. Benavidez Dayo bared the 281 displaced OFWs just represent the number from January up to February 9, this year as they expect the figure to rise given the worldwide financial turmoil. Most of the returning OFWs forced to come home used to work in the electronics industry abroad, one of the sectors heavily affected by the global economic situation.

Dayo said a special livelihood program for displaced OFWs offered by OWWA is the loan facility of P50T as a start-up capital for any business with no collateral involved. The amount is payable within 24 months or two years with a 90-day grace period, Dayo added.

The OWWA is also offering a scholarship for skills employment program to the dependents of OFWs with a tuition assistance worth P14,500 for the whole duration of the training course, this is said.

Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA-7) Legal Officer Imelda Lerida on the other hand, said a total of 117 displaced OFWs also visited their office from January up to February 9 asking for possible job placements abroad,

Of the 117 displaced OFWs, 104 of them were factory workers from Taiwan who were sent home as job cuts were made due to the global financial crisis while seven came from Dubai, four from Qatar and one each from Hongkong and Singapore, Lerida claimed.

Lerida said they have already met with 38 recruitment agencies in the region that are mostly based in Cebu urging them to allocate five percent of their job placements overseas to displaced OFWs.

Displaced OFWs however, must undergo screening for qualifications procedures to the recruitment agencies, Lerida said.

The POEA-7 legal officer said there is still an existing demand for skilled workers abroad. In fact, there is a government-to-government hiring between the Philippines and Japan where the latter will hire nurses and caregivers from the country, Lerida disclosed.

"Japan is set to hire as many nurses as possible as long as they are qualified," Lerida said.

Lerida said the Philippine Government is negotiating with Japan on the qualification of caregivers as one requirement set by Japan for caregivers is that one must have graduated in a four-year course which has posed a major problem for Filipino caregivers who are not college degree holders. A caregiver's course in the country duly accredited with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) only runs up to six months. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]

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