Around one hundred (100) leaders from different OFW Family Circles (OFCs) throughout Davao Region attended the one-day forum conducted by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) – Regional Welfare Office XI last December 16, 2019 at the Blue Lotus Hotel, Ecoland, Davao City.

On behalf of OWWA XI Regional Director Ron Lionel Bartolome, Programs and Services Division (PSD) Chief Carmelo Elaya welcomed guests and participants and provided the rationale of the activity.

PSD Chief Elaya said that the forum aims to provide updates on the programs and services of OWWA and other partner agencies and stakeholders. It also aims to identify issues and concerns related to the protection and welfare of OFWs and their families and to come up with strategies or policy direction to address the needs of OFW Family Circle Associations organized by OWWA in Davao Region.

One of the resource speakers during the event was Inorisa Elento, the Executive Director of Mindanao Migrants Center for Empowering Actions, Inc. (MMCEAI). She presented a situationer report of migrant workers in the face of socio-economic development.

Another resource speaker who provided substantial inputs during the activity was Gema Estrada, the Trade & Industry Development Specialist of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). She presented the various programs and services of the agency that can be benefitted by the OFWs and their families.

The event was likewise graced by Hon. Pamelo Librado – Morata, 1st District Councilor and Chairperson for Committee on Labor representing Mayor Inday Sara Duterte – Carpio. In a message read by Councilor Librado – Morata, the Mayor extended her sincere gratitude to OWWA for providing assistance to the migrant workers through its various programs and services including the creation of OFW Family Circles (OFC) and for enhancing the capabilities of the OFC leaders.

The activity also served as avenue for the participants to create mechanisms to renew and strengthen its relationship as members of the different OFCs in Region XI. In line with this, various games and entertainment filled the event to make the event more meaningful.

Likewise, it has made the participants become more aware on the programs and services of the government and stakeholders. They were able to raise their issues and concerns which were substantially addressed by the resource speakers.

As OFC leaders, it is important to be well-informed for the development of their respective organizations. (OWWA XI)