PGMA hands over assistance to crisis-affected OFWs
by RG Alama
Davao City (20 February) -- Leo Buling an Overseas Foreign Worker in Dubai for seven years was recently laid off last January 26, wasting no time he went to the Regional office of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to avail of any Government assistance.
Last Feb. 19 Leo was among the 30 OFWs in Mindanao to receive livelihood assistance checks aimed to help cushion the impact of the global financial crisis.
No less than President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo accompanied by Labor Secretary Marianito Roque handed over the checks to Leo and 20 other OFW-beneficiaries during the turn-over ceremonies held at the Grand ballroom of the Apo View Hotel.
Buling told the President that the assistance which runs to the amount of P50, 000 will be used to capitalize the food products business of his wife. He said they will be making and selling hotdogs, chicken, longganiza, tapa and tocino products.
Another OFW affected by the crisis, Janice Cabalnos, an electronics worker in Taiwan who was the first batch of workers laid-off in the island nation told the President that the Government assistance will be used to develop her parents' banana farm in Santo Tomas, Davao del Norte Province.
Nora Bonseco, a domestic worker in Hongkong and another beneficiary told the President during their short interaction that she will be using the amount for a hog-raising venture.
The 30 OFWs who received checks each amounting to P50, 000 came from Davao Region, Caraga and Region X. The assistance forms part of the government's P300-billion stimulus package that includes a P250-million support fund, skills training for in-demand jobs in other parts of the world and the creation of assistance desks in provinces by OWWA and DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment). (PIA XI) [top]