A Seminar on the Basic Laws and Policies Affecting Overseas Migration was spearheaded by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration- Regional Welfare Office 1 (OWWA- RWO1) as part of its sustaining capability building program for the Migrant Desk Officers (MDOs) in Region 1.
The said event was held on November 6- 7, 2014 at the Fiesta Garden Hotel in Bantay, Ilocos Sur. It was attended by a total of 84 MDOs comprising of 15 MDOs from Ilocos Norte, 27 from Ilocos Sur, 21 from La Union and 21 from Pangasinan. There were also 13 OFW Leaders who attended the seminar.
The two-day seminar equipped the MDOs and OFW Leaders with knowledge on the framework and implementing guidelines of the basic laws and policies affecting OFWs here and abroad including the government intervention in addressing the gaps encountered in the implementation of these laws and policies.
During the first day of the seminar, Mr. Renato Pedro O. Villa, the Special Assistant to the Office of The Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (OUMWA) of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) discussed the government protection program to OFWs in the Middle East including legal assistance, repatriation of human remains and Crisis Management. He likewise discussed the OUMWA’s services to OFWs. On the other hand, Honorable Marita Bernales Balloguing, the Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court Branch 20 of Vigan City, Ilocos Sur talked about the Provisions and the Implementing Guidelines of the Family Code of the Philippines.
On the second day, Atty. Eric D. Dollete of the Operations and Surveillance Division of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) discussed the Migrant Workers’ Act, its provisions, implementing guidelines and its impact to the plight of OFWs, while Mr. Ferdinand Concepcion, the Provincial Social Welfare Development Officer (PSWDO) of Ilocos Sur tackled the Provisions and Implementing guidelines of the Anti- Violence Against Women and Children Act.
This recently concluded activity is just one of the programs of OWWA RWO1 in equipping the MDOs with the essential knowledge and skills needed in serving and responding to the needs of the OFWs and their families. OWWA RWO1 recognizes the significant role of the municipalities and provinces in bringing its programs and services closer to its clientele- the OFWs and their families. The presence of migrant desk officer in each municipality is of great help as they are the first line of assistance and primary source of information in their respective municipalities. Their emerging role in assisting clients is becoming more and more significant. Thus, OWWA ensures to provide them with continuous seminar, training, education and updates.