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BPBH Grantee moves on amidst COVID-19 pandemic


TULOY ANG BUHAY. BPBH Grantee Geza Diyaya of Brgy. Zone IV, Sta. Cruz,

Davao del Sur manning her newly-acquired business.


A 38-year old grantee of the Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay! (BPBH) Program of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration continuously earns income amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Geza Diyaya from Brgy. Zone IV, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur was deployed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in January 2018. She worked as a domestic worker but was unable to finish her employment contract due to over fatigue. “I can no longer bear the multiple tasks given to me by my employer until my body gave up,” Geza relayed. After she was hospitalized, she decided to stop working and asked her employer to send her back to the Philippines. “I need to earn a higher income because I am the only one who provides the needs of my eight children. But I preferred to go home to be with my children than to lose my life away from them,” added the single mother OFW. 

Despite the adversity experienced by Geza abroad, she never lost her hope to survive. When she learned about the Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay! program of OWWA, she applied and hoped that it would help her recover. After complying with all the needed documents and necessary training, Geza received her financial assistance amounting to P20,000.00 on March 18, 2019. “When OWWA awarded the check to me, I almost can’t believe that I received such a blessing. I immediately used the amount to purchase a variety of goods that will be sold at my stall located at the Sta. Cruz Integrated Transport Terminal,” she said. OFW Geza was also one of the beneficiaries of the livelihood program under the Local Economic Enterprise and Management of LGU Sta. Cruz where she was awarded a market stall.

Since her stall is located in a bus terminal, more people will drop by and buy her goods. Some of her products include cellphone accessories, facial masks, small toys, food and drinks, and other merchandise saleable in the area. Geza earns P18, 000.00 per month, which greatly helped her in sustaining the needs of her family. “COVID 19 affects everybody’s livelihood because of the lockdown. The livelihood assistance that I received from OWWA was so timely because I was able to earn income despite the lockdown. With my daily income, I can provide the needs of my children and my parents, especially now that we are experiencing a deadly pandemic. I sincerely thanked OWWA for giving me a greater opportunity to avail of the program that would help distressed workers like me”, said Geza, who encouraged other distressed workers to never give up and ask for assistance from the proper agency like OWWA.

OFW Geza’s desire to give her family a better life has driven her to work overseas. Though she was not successful in her journey, she found another opportunity to earn a living. She said that courage, determination, and strong faith in God are her weapons to survive. She plans to have a bigger stall inside the public market so she can sell more products.

Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay! Program is a package of livelihood support/assistance intended to provide immediate relief to returning member-OFWs (distressed/displaced) amounting to a maximum PHP 20,000.00 as a start-up or additional capital for a livelihood project.

From January to June 2020, OWWA-RWO XI has released a total of PHP 11, 070,000.00 to 573 beneficiaries throughout the Davao Region. (OWWA XI)

Ofelia B. Domingo

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