Department of Labor and Employment
February 27, 2017
The Department of Labor and Employment has extended assistance to 35 returning overseas Filipino workers from Kuwait who experienced various labor and welfare-related issues from their respective employers.
Deputy Administrator Brigido Dulay of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration said the all-female repatriates arrived in Manila last week. Dulay is OWWA’s in charge of the agency’s Repatriation Assistance Division (RAD).
“Our returning workers, who were household service workers in Kuwait, had their respective sad experiences such as non-payment of salaries, maltreatment, and long working hours, among others,” Dulay said.
Upon their arrival, OWWA provided the repatriates with DOLE’s Assist W.E.L.L. (Welfare, Employment, Legal and Livelihood) program.
As for the welfare component, the OFW-returnees were provided with airport assistance, including facilitating the release of their travel documents from the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and Bureau of Immigration (BOI).
Other welfare assistance extended include temporary accommodation at OWWA Halfway Home for OFW-returnees who have no place to stay in Metro Manila, provision of transportation fares, and transportation services in going to bus terminals onward to their respective provinces.
In terms of employment, the OFW-repatriates were told that they can be given job placement referrals for local employment through Bureau of Local Employment (BLE) or an overseas work courtesy of Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), as well as training opportunities under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
For livelihood component, they were advised on the availability of livelihood assistance and programs offered by the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) and loans through OWWA if they want to start a business.
Meanwhile, those who have legal issues and concerns with their agencies, such as non-payment of salaries, were also provided with legal advice through the Single Entry Approach (SEnA).
Assist WELL Processing Centers are established in three DOLE attached agencies and 17 regional offices in the country to address the needs of OFWs upon their return to the Philippines.
The Assist WELL processing centers in the National Capital Region (NCR) are located at POEA Main Office-Ortigas, OWWA Main Office-Pasay City, and NRCO Main Office-Manila.
In the regional offices, processing centers are established at DOLE-CAR, Baguio City; POEA Regional Center, La Union; DOLE Region ll, Tuguegarao; DOLE Region lll, Pampanga; OWWA Regional Office lV-A, Calamba, Laguna; DOLE Region lV-B, Calapan, Mindoro; and DOLE Region V, Bicol; DOLE-Region Vl, Bacolod, OWWA Regional Welfare Office Vll, Cebu City; DOLE-Region Vlll-Tacloban; OWWA Regional Welfare Office lX-Zamboanga; DOLE-Region X, Cagayan de Oro; DOLE Region Xl, Davao Field Office; DOLE Region Xll- Koronadal; and POEA, CARAGA, Butuan City.
OWWA Report/Tim Laderas
POLO-Qatar shifts to West Bay for OFWs’ accessibility and convenience
The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Qatar will now be more accessible and convenient for the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), as it sets to move to West Bay in Doha.
“We should always ensure efficient delivery of services to our OFWs. The relocation of the labor office will provide convenience to our nationals in availing government services, as well as in raising their issues and concern that needed immediate action and assistance,” Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said.
According to Labor Attaché in Qatar David Des Dicang, the main functions of POLO will shift to the new office located in Al Jazeera Tower in March, which is located in West Bay where numerous OFWs work and reside.
“Many Filipino expatriates, including community leaders, have hailed the move of POLO to shift to West Bay, as a welcome and necessary development in delivering government services,” the labor attaché said in his report to Secretary Bello.
The current office located on Al Furat St. Onaiza Area, Dafna will now serve as Migrant Workers and Other Overseas Filipinos Resource Center (MWOFRC), the central hub of welfare and assistance for migrant Filipinos, which can also be used as temporary shelter for distressed OFWs.
The United Filipino Organizations in Qatar (UFOQ) lauded the efforts of the government in moving the POLO to the business district as it will be more accessible for them to reach out to the government.
“This decision of POLO gives value to the convenience of the nationals in visiting the office both by public and private transport. There’s also better security and control system in the new premises. Moving to a new office located in the business district also uplifts the image of Philippine government agency,” UFOQ Chairman Ressie Fos said.
Meanwhile, Bello also said that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) through Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) will continue to boost its services and programs intended for the protection and welfare of the growing number of Filipinos in Qatar.
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