Archive for May, 2012
This Italian expression meaning ‘thank you very much,’ was the first set of words that Deborah Nebrada and Santiago Penas might have easily learned by themselves when they started working as Household Service Workers (HSWs) in 2010 in the European country through a visa visit. But thanks to OWWA’s language training under the Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP), the context of Grazie mille as stated in their handwritten letter of March 30, 2012 to the OWWA Administrator has deepened with much fervor and gratitude having learned more about the Italian language, proper usage of words, and other cultural facts they ought to know during their re-entry to Italy using a work visa.
As public school teachers prior to working as HSWs, Nebrada and Penas know by instinct that studying commonly used words and expressions using the dictionary, internet search and constant conversation with their Italian friends will help them acquire the language. In the course of their self-study, they found their learning insufficient as they groped with uncertainties particularly in the correctness of language usage, grammar and construction. When they returned to the Philippines in January 2011 to process their working papers, they were adamant to undergo the mandatory 3-day language training under Italian Instructor Adora Briones because they assumed they already knew enough of it. Their stubbornness gradually vanished when the lessons dealt on topics that had been their concern for so long. “Ma’am Adora explained the topics very well,” they said, setting their queries to rest. Thus, from being obstinate to OWWA, they became grateful.
Aside from language training, they praised the CPDEP seminar for helping them regain their dignity as individuals and their self-esteem as among the OFW sector responsible for making the economy vibrant. The sessions somehow healed their feeling of denigration working as HSWs as they were used to being looked up to with respect in the community as educators.
“This program is very effective and helpful for equipping us OFWs before going to our country of destination. One should know the language, the culture, and in managing the (work-related) stress.”
The Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP) for OFWs was implemented in May 2009. It is a seminar designed for Household Service Workers (HSWs) that runs from three to six days and includes language training, culture familiarization and stress management. Languages include Arabic, Mandarin, Cantonese, Hebrew, Italian, and English. A total of 142 training batches comprising 10,987 availees from the RWO-NCR have already underwent the program from February 26, 2012 to March 25, 2012 alone.
A brainchild of RWO-NCR Director Emma Sinclair, she opted for cosplay in magnifying this year’s theme, Tatlong Dekada ng Serbisyong Tapat at Nararapat, to simply have a break from the everyday routine that at times lead to stressful encounter on both clients and staff. “Since this is our anniversary, we would like to momentarily liberate ourselves from the usual and be different, at least for a day. The variety of concerns brought to the agency’s different units every now and then periodically leads to a rollercoaster of moods and emotion for the staff and this may affect their dealings with the client,” she said. True enough, seeing the cosplay-ers roam around second floor with edible freebies delighted the staff and at the same time surprised the clients who were waiting for their turn to be attended. On a more important note, Director Emma said the cosplay connotes the agency’s desire to progress with the current trends in delivering the agency’s programs and services to the migrant workers and their dependents in the National Capital Region. Proofs are in offering new Information Technology courses that aims to boost the entrepreneurial activities of OFWs through one of its programs, Microsoft Tulay, creating a Facebook page to post all the announcements and photos of the Reintegration Unit’s livelihood program activities, and planned seminars and lectures relevant to the times for the scholars under the Education and Training Unit. Innovations are also underway for other units.
OWWA scholars Austine Joyce Espino and Alexandra Bocobo, both under the OFW Development Scholarship Program gamely took the task as cosplay-ers. Espino and Bocobo are taking their college degrees at Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila and Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela, respectively. Both their fathers are currently working as computer technician in the Middle East.
Sa ika-30 taon ng pagbibigay serbisyo sa mga migranteng manggagawang Pilipino sa humigit kumulang 190 bansa sa buong mundo, ipinaaabot ng Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) ang isang taos-pusong pasasalamat sa pagbibigay tiwala sa aming kakayahang kayo ay aming mapaglingkuran. Sa mahabang panahon, ang inyong pagtitiwala ang siya naming naging inspirasyon upang lalong pagbutihin at palawakin ang mga Programa at Serbisyo para sa inyo at sa inyong pamilya. Ang inyong walang sawang suporta ang pinaghuhugutan namin ng sigla at lakas para mas lalo kaming maging sensitibo at makapagbigay ng mabilis na pagtugon sa inyong mga problema at pangangailangan.
Sa pagdiriwang sa taong ito ng OWWA na may temang : “Tatlong Dekada ng Serbisyong Tapat at Nararapat!” agarang serbisyo at maagap na benepisyo ang aming hatid sa inyo at inyong pamilya. Panahon ng giyera sa Gulfo noong 1990, giyera sa Lebanon noong 2006, giyera sa Libya nitong nakaraang taong 2011, at itong mga bagong kaguluhan sa Syria, Egypt, Yemen, at iba pang bansa sa Gitnang Silangan at Hilagang Africa, ang OWWA ay katulong sa paglilikas at pagpapauwi ng mga libu-libo nating kababayan. Agarang din tumulong ang OWWA sa mga pamilyang apektado ng kalamidad dulot ng bagyong Undoy, Peping at nitong nakaraan Sendong sa pamamagitan ng Misyong Pangmedikal at pagbibigay ng mga pangunahing pangangailangan ng mga nasalanta ng bagyo tulad ng pagkain at tubig. Aksyon agad ang aming tugon sa mga pagkakataon o sitwasyon na nangangailangan ng agarang tulong.
Isang taos pusong pasasalamat sa mga magigiting na kawani ng OWWA sa kanilang dedikasyon at pagmamahal sa kanilang gawain. Sa anumang uri ng organisasyon, ang lakas ng isang institusyon ay nakasalalay sa pagkakaisa at kooperasyon ng mga bumubuo nito. Sila ang dahilan kung bakit ang OWWA ay lalong lumalakas at tumitibay sa pag-agos ng panahon.
Salamat sa Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) sa inyong pamumuno at pagbibigay ng tamang direksyon, gabay at suporta para mas lalong mapaigting ang paglilingkod namin sa aming mga kliyente. Salamat din sa mga bumubuo ng OWWA Board of Trustees, sa iba’t ibang non-government organizations (NGOs), sa pribadong sector, international organizations at mga miyembro ng media sa kanilang paniniwala sa aming kakayahan na maglingkod ng tapat at nararapat. Ang pagsuportang ito ang aming inspirasyon para lalong mapahusay at mapalawak ang programa at serbisyo na makakatulong sa mga miyembo ng OWWA kasama ang kanilang pamilya.
Sa abot ng aming kakayahan, pagsisikapan namin ng buong puso na magsilbing inyong karampatang daan tungo sa higit na mas produktibo, tapat, mabilis at mahusay na serbisyo mula sa mga pinuno at kawani ng OWWA.
Maraming salamat mula sa OWWA!
CARMELITA S. DIMZON, DPA