A total of 35 Overseas Filipinos Workers (OFWs) repatriated from Libya availed themselves of livelihood and employment referral from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

“Under the Assist WELL (Welfare, Employment, Livelihood and Legal) Program, DOLE ensures the successful reintegration of OFWs from crises and emergency situations,” said DOLE Davao Regional Director Joffrey M. Suyao.

“The marching order of the secretary is to closely monitor repatriated OFWs both documented and undocumented and provide them all possible assistance the Department could extend to help them,” he said.

In the Program, the welfare component offers airport assistance, temporary shelter or accommodation, transport assistance to residence, emergency medical assistance, and stress debriefing.

For employment assistance, the Department will provide job placement referral for local employment, job placement referral for overseas employment, competency assistance and certification.

In the livelihood component, OFWs may avail themselves of P10K financial relief Assistance, Balik-Pinay, Balik Hanapbuhay program, small business management training and financial awareness seminar, Kabuhayan Formation; and Community Enterprise. Some 39 OFWs availed themselves of P10,000 livelihood assistance provide by Overseas Workers Welfare Administration  (OWWA).

The legal assistance will cover legal advice, conciliation, preparation and filing of complaints and counseling during preliminary investigation and hearings.

Director Eduardo E. Bellido of OWWA 11 disclosed to media recently that a total of 41 OFWs were repatriated from Libya. He added there are still more than 300 OFWs from Davao Region who are still working in Libya.

OWWA reported during the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) that two OFWs requested for food technology and culinary training assistance; three for trading of goods; 27 OFWs want to avail themselves of agribusiness projects; and one OFW each for training of jewelry making and services, computer hardware repair and networking, and business management for construction supply.

RCC covers all DOLE attached agencies including National Labor Relations Commission, Technical Education and Skills Development  Authority, OWWA, National Conciliation and Mediation Board, National Reintegration Center for OFWs, Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board, Employees Compensation Commission, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and Professional Regulation Commission.

Meanwhile, 23 of the 41 repatriated OFWs expressed to be re-deployed to other countries including Canada, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Europe and  Australia.

Sherwin B. Manual/DOLE11