Sunday, March 2, 2014

DOLE Bicol highlights OFW Reintegration Program

The Department of Labor and Employment National Reintegration Center (DOLE NRC) calls on returning undocumented Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in the Bicol region to avail of the various grants and services under their OFW Reintegration Program.

“Reintegration intends to aid OFW returning to his host country not only physically but also on the aspects of economy, community and personal life. It is high time for our returning OFWs in particular the undocumented ones to come out, be aware and avail of the reintegration program offered by our government,” NRC Bicol chief Kristina Oliveros said during the Ugnayan sa Bicol radio program of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) here.

On the economic aspect, she said NRC has been giving livelihood loans and starter kits depending on the skills and location of the requesting OFW.

The grant is coursed to the beneficiaries through the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and other OFW agencies.

She added that NRC has tied up with the Public Employment Services Office to provide returning workers with local jobs especially if they intend to stay in their community.

Oliveros noted the importance of the community in helping the young children left by the migrant workers to work abroad, which according to studies are vulnerable to addiction, unwanted pregnancies and involvement in various vices.

“We need to involve the community in helping the children left by their parents at a young age to work abroad since they lack parental care and guidance,” she said.

To address this concern, NRC has forged convergence programs with the public and private sectors especially with the academe to give the needed education and guidance not only to the children but also to their guardians.

Furthermore, counseling is also given to address post traumatic stress disorders encountered by OFWs who have been victims of abuse and untoward treatment from their employers.

“Usually, undocumented OFWs are the ones who encountered traumatic stress disorders especially if they experienced abuse and maltreatment from their job abroad. Since we don’t have the necessary documents or information where they are or who their employers are, we cannot monitor them so it’s hard for us to address their concerns,” she explained.

Furthermore, NRC also conducts financial management courses for both the OFW and their dependents to help them manage their hard earned money.

“We need to change the perception that if you are an OFW, you have lots of money to spend especially on buying new gadgets and other things which are actually unnecessary. They might end up spending and losing everything they worked for abroad. Thus we also teach them to save and invest,” Olivares said.

Financial management is also part of the Enterprise Development Training of the NRC. (MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)
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