PIA News Service - Thursday, October 30, 2008

Director Albert Valenciano of the Administrative and Finance Management of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration is shown here delivering his keynote speech during the awarding ceremonies of the 2008 Search for Model OFW Family of the Year Award (MOFYA) held on Wednesday, October 29, 2008 at Almont Hotel's Inland Resort in Butuan City. Valenciano emphasized the contribution of OFWs in uplifitng the economic status of the country. (Robert E. Roperos, PIA-13)
OWWA official cites importance of Global Forum on migration and dev’t. in RP
by: Robert E. Roperos, PIA-13

BUTUAN CITY (October 30) – Overseas Workers and Welfare Administration (OWWA) Administrative and Finance Management Director Albert Valenciano cites importance of the on-going global forum on migration and development, hosted by the Philippines, held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.

According to Dir. Valenciano, delegates from around 190 countries worldwide are convening here in the country to discuss the current issues pertaining to migration, nation-building and development.

Valenciano added that the conduct of the forum is held for the first time, in a developing country like the Philippines. “The first round of global forum was held in Brussels on July, 2007. Nandito po sila ngayon sa Manila dahil gusto po nilang ipabatid sa atin that we are being recognized as a nation of skilled professional and migrant workers”, he said.

However, Valenciano said, “it does not mean that we are simply migrant workers. But I would like to admit that we are in a nature that is bound by a culture of migration”, he added.

Valenciano also said that with this year’s theme of the global forum, “Protecting and empowering migrant for development”, which, according to him, “says a lot of things about the state of migration and development today in the world”.

With the global financial crisis that we are currently facing, Valenciano said the government is preparing for contingency plans and one of these is for the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and OWWA to look for opportunities in other countries so that those OFWs who will be affected by the crisis will have the opportunity to work in those countries.

Meanwhile, Valenciano lauded the OFWs known as one of the best workers. “What is important is that, we know that our workers abroad are known to be good, if not, the best workers. And because of this, the global financial crisis will not directly affect majority of our OFWs because they will be surely kept by their employees and if not, they can be easily hired in other countries since our OFWs can compete globally in terms of skills and talents”, he said.

Valenciano also said that the focus of this year’s global forum is on human phase of migration which means that the forum centers on the problems and issues and concerns of the migrant workers.

Dir. Valenciano was here in the city on Wednesday, October 29, 2008 to grace and keynote the awarding ceremonies of the 2008 Search for Model OFW Family of the Year Award (MOFYA) – Caraga Regional Eliminations, held in a local convention center in the city.


OWWA is not only for successful workers, says top official
by: Robert E. Roperos, PIA-13

BUTUAN CITY (October 30) – The Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA) is not only for successful migrant workers but also for the workers and their families who are not that successful.

This is what OWWA Administrative and Finance Management Director Albert Valenciano emphasized in his keynote speech on Wednesday, October 29, 2008 in time with the 2008 Model OFW Family of the Year Award (MOFYA) awarding ceremonies held in one of the local convention centers here in the city.

“I would like to emphasize that OWWA is not only for workers who are successful. It is also for the workers and their families who are not that successful”, he said.

Valenciano added that OWWA’s role is to give honor to those workers who are successful and at the same time, providing assistance to those who are in immediate need wherever they may be in the different parts of the globe.

Meanwhile, Valenciano said that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is urging the public to change the term we used to call the migrant workers from OFWs to expatriate. “This term means that Filipinos who are working and living abroad”, he said.

Also, Valenciano stated the importance of the MOFYA which he said, it is but fitting that our OFWs or expat-Pinoys wil be given due recognition for the sacrifices they have while working abroad for the benefits of their families left here in the country.

“Giving recognition to successful migrant workers does not only mean recognizing their efforts and sacrifices but also recognizing them for making their families as models to every Filipino family”, Valenciano added.

With these developments, Dir. Valenciano assures all OFWS – active or inactive that OWWA will be fair in giving attention to all their families “because we believe that the Filipino culture is centered within the family. This is the message of MOFYA – to honor the OFWs and to wish you well to be successful in all your future plans and aspirations”, Dir. Valenciano said.

The 2008 Search for MOFYA is anchored on the theme “Parangal sa Matatag na Pamilyang OFW” (“Honoring strong OFW Families”).


EDSP scholarship grant to increase by 50% in 2009
by: Robert E. Roperos, PIA-13

BUTUAN CITY (October 30) – True to its commitment to serve the OFWs and their families, Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA) Administrative and Finance Management Director Albert Valenciano announced that a 50 percent increase in the number of Educational Development Scholarship Program (EDSP) will be imposed next year.

This announcement was made by Dir. Valenciano in his keynote speech delivered during the awarding ceremonies of the 2008 Search for Model OFW Family of the Year Award (MOFYA) held on Wednesday, October 29, 2008 in one of the local convention centers here.

According to Dir. Valenciano, the EDSP which grants 100 slots per year will now be increased to 150 slots in 2009. This, according to Valenciano, will give opportunities to more OFW dependents and families to avail of free college education.

Meanwhile, Valenciano said that OWWA has also increased its financial support to OFWS in the sea-based sector to avail of free trainings, particularly the marine officers, deck officers, and engine officers to update them and improved their skills for fast promotion.

This effort of OWWA is in support to the thrusts and programs of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo particularly in promoting education for all and the welfare of OFWs.
2008 MOFYA winners in Caraga. Photo shows the regional winners of the 2008 Search for Outstanding OFW Family of the Year Award (MOFYA). From left to right: Engr. and Mrs. Samuel D. Micompal (Sea-based category) and Mr. and Mrs. Cipriano C. Desamparado (Land-based category) proudly show their plaques and checks which they received during the awarding ceremonies held on Wednesday, October 29, 2008 at Almont Hotel's Inland Resort in Butuan City. They are flanked by personnel of Western Union. (Robert E. Roperos, PIA-13)


2008 MOFYA winners in Caraga bared
by : Robert E. Roperos, PIA-13

BUTUAN CITY (October 30) – Winners of the 2008 Search for Model Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Family of the Year Award (MOFYA) were finally revealed in a simple yet meaningful awarding ceremony held Wednesday, October 29, 2008 in one of the local convention centers here, graced by Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Dir. Albert Q. Valenciano of the Administrative and Finance Management Office.

Two regional winners were given recognition in the fields of land-based and sea-based. The family of Mr. Cipriano and Mrs. Angelina Desamparado of Talisay, Nasipit, Agusan del Norte was chosen from among the three nominees in the Land-based category.

In the Sea-based category, the family of Engr. Samuel and Mrs. Dominica Micompal of Poblacion, Alegria, Surigao del Norte won over the other five nominees.

The winners were awarded cash prize of P20,000.00 each from Globe Telecommunications represented by Mr. Alan Gilbuena, Butuan City Branch Manager. Also, Western Union-Butuan Branch gave P5,000.00 to the two winners and were presented by the Assistant Branch Manager, Jenevene Pomera. The two are also members of the board of judges.

Meanwhile, Dir. Valenciano, together with OWWA-Caraga Regional Director Petrona Bergado, DOLE Asst. Regional Director Romeo Cagas who is also the chairman of the board of judges awarded the Plaque of Recognition to all the nominees and the two winners.

Nominees in the Land-Based category are the families of Mr. and Mrs. Winfred Bernal of Panaytayon, RTR, Agusan del Norte; Engr. and Mrs. Raul Estrada of Trianggulo, Nasipit, Agusan del Norte; and Mr. and Mrs. Mateo Saagundo of Pareja Subdivision, Brgy. Bayanihan, Butuan City.

In the Sea-based category, other nominees are the families of Chief Mate and Mrs. Francisco Aguirre of Brgy. J.P. Rizal St., Nasipit, Agusan del Norte; Mr. and Mrs. Allan Hermoso of Bayview Hill, Nasipit, Agusan del Norte; Engr. and Mrs. Carlos Lobite, Sr. of Talisay, Nasipit, Agusan del Norte; Chief Mate and Mrs. Arturo Nietes of Guingona Subdivision, Butuan City; and Capt. and Dr. Cipriano Torrentira of Greenhomes, Km. 3, Brgy. Luna in Surigao City.

Other members of the board of judges are Engr. Salvador Jayoma, representing the Sea-based sector; Engr. Roderico Cane of the Land-based sector; Jenevene Pomera, Assistant Branch Manager of Western Union-Butuan Branch; and Alfredo Davalos, Jr. of the Butuan City Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The two regional winners will be the official nominees of Caraga Region in the national Search for MOFYA 2008 that will take place on November in Metro Manila, where a cash prize of P600,000.00 is at stake for the winners both in the land-based and sea-based category with Globe giving P500,000.00 and Western Union to give P100,000.00.

Special awards were also given to Chief Mate Arturo Nietes as Outstanding Entrepreneur while Engr. Samuel Micompal is this year’s recipient in the Outstanding Community-based project award. Each received Plaque of Recognition from Dir. Valenciano, Dir. Bergado and Dir. Mantilla.

The 2008 Search for MOFYA is supported by Globe Telecommunications, Western Union, Banco de Oro, Philam Life, and the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI).



“Gov’t, doing its best to counter global financial crisis”, DOLE-Caraga chief assures
by : Robert E. Roperos, PIA-13

BUTUAN CITY (October 30) - Following the issue of global financial crisis, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Caraga Regional Director Chona Mantilla gives assurance that the national government is doing its best to counter this problem.

This assurance was stated by Dir. Mantilla in her welcome address during the awarding ceremonies of the 2008 Search for Model Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Family of the Year Award (MOFYA) held Wednesday, October 29, 2008 at Almont Hotel’s Inland Resort Convention Center in this city.

According to Dir. Mantilla, the government agencies most especially DOLE and OWWA including their partner agencies are “doing their best and in fact, the programs of the government to counter this problem are already in place”.

Dir. Mantilla also cited the noble contributions of OFWs who are one of those directly affected with the current global crisis. “The OFWs are among those who are directly affected with the on-going global financial crisis. That is why DOLE and OWWA have set contingency plans to help them in this time of global crisis”, she said.

Meanwhile, Mantilla revealed that based on the national figure in 2007, 14.4 billion dollars were contributed by OFWs. She also said that in Caraga Region, more than 10,000 OFWs have also given its significant contribution to the country. “In 2007 alone, 14.4 billion dollars (national figure) were contributed by OFWs. In Caraga, based on statistics, more than 10,000 OFWs are from here and have made significant contribution to the country”, she said.

Mantilla also made mention of the plans and programs of DOLE and OWWA where she said that she is looking forward for more improvements in as far as the accomplishments of these two government agencies is concerned.

Also, Mantilla lauded the efforts and accomplishments of OWWA-Caraga Regional Director Petrona M. Bergado where Dir. Mantilla emphasized the successful launching of Tulay-II Project in Caraga last October 20, 2008. “I have high regards for OWWA for the successful conduct of Tulay II project-launching and I’ve heard that it is the most successfully done launching of the project”.

With these developments, Dir. Mantilla urged the OFWs present, government and non-government agencies to join hands in countering not only the global financial crisis that is currently happening but as well as in fighting poverty which is the main thrust of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Mantilla also encouraged all the stakeholders to rally behind the plans and programs of the national government.




A closer look at the Caraga MOFYA 2008 winners
by : Robert E. Roperos, PIA-13

BUTUAN CITY (October 30) – The 2008 Search for Model OFW Family of the Year Award (MOFYA) in Caraga has finally come to an end after the two winners coming from the land-based and sea-based sectors were announced and awarded in a simple but memorable awarding ceremonies held on Wednesday, October 29, 2008 at Almont Hotel’s Inland Resort.

Winner in the Land-based category is the family of Mr. Cipriano C. Desamparado, who formerly worked in Saudi Arabia as heavy equipment operator from 1985 to 1998.

Married to a retired school teacher - Angelina, Mr. and Mrs. Desamparado owns the Quad C School Supplies and Dry Goods Distributor based in Nasipit, Agusan del Norte, employing two full-time workers with average earnings of P20,000.00 per month and a total project cost of P700,000.00.

As part of the civic and community involvement of the family, the Desamparados advocates people empowerment through access to educational support services. As President of Kalihokang Nasipitnon and member in several socio-civic organizations and Filipino associations in their area, Mr. Desamparado shows his exemplary leadership by organizing socio-civic activities such as mass wedding, gift-giving to indigent families, donation of reading materials and giving medals and trophies to students who excelled in academics.

Aside from the achievements mentioned above, the Desamparado family was a finalist in the 2005 and 2007 MOFYA Search. Thus, the family is no longer a rookie in the annual search.

Adding to his achievements, Mr. Desamparado was awarded last Migrant Workers Day (Araw ng Pasasalamat) in June 7, 2008 as “Outstanding Achiever Migrant Worker”, also in the land-based category.

Meanwhile, the family of Engr. Samuel D. Micompal of Alegria, Surigao del Norte was chosen as the winner in the Sea-based category.

Among the family’s achievements in the civic and community involvement includes the propagation, manufacture, and marketing of the alternative herbal medicines initiated by the San Isidro Labrador Parish where Mr. Micompal is a Lay Minister.

Samuel’s family is also an awardee of the Countryside Excellent Service by Surigao del Norte Governor Robert Ace S. Barbers. The family also managed the P2.3-million water system under the DAR-IFAD project which caters the potable water supply needs of the residents in their area. This best explains the family’s advocacy which geared towards countryside development thru access to potable water and alternative medicines.

In as far as leadership is concerned, Mr. Micompal is the President of Poblacion Alegria Waterworks Sanitation Association. He is also the President of Marajaw Magbalantay
Herbal Medicine. Other positions which he handled are Auditor of the Alegria Sports Club, and Vice President of Alegria OFW Association.

This year’s MOFYA-Caraga winners were chosen by top caliber personalities in the region headed by DOLE-Caraga Assistant Regional Director Romeo Cagas. Completing the list are OWWA-Caraga Regional Director Petrona Bergado, Engr. Salvador Jayoma of the sea-based sector, Engr. Roderico Cane of the land-based sector, Janice Arapan – Branch Manager of Banco de Oro-Butuan, Alan Gilbuena – Branch Manager of Globe Telecommunications-Butuan, Jenevene Pomera – Asst. Branch manager of Western Union-Butuan, and Alfredo Davalos, Jr. of the Butuan City Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The two regional winners will be the official entry of Caraga Region in the national level to be awarded in Metro Manila on November.


LTO Butuan applies for ISO accreditation
by : Jose Jemuel B. Dael, PIA-13

BUTUAN CITY (October 30) —Land Transportation Office (LTO) Butuan is applying for accreditation to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) says Asis Toma, LTO District Head today during the Regional Law Enforcement and Coordinating Council (RLECC) Meeting at the Philippine National Police Regional Office conference room in this city.

In a follow up interview, Toma said that during second quarter of this year they passed the internal audit conducted by representatives from LTO Central Office.

He said they are looking forward to passing the upcoming audit on November 5 by the external audit and hopefully become an ISO accredited government agency.

He said their office greatly improved the quality of their services through standardization of processes and computerization of their systems to satisfy their clients.

He added that with the operation of instant lamination facility on June this year, clients can get their laminated driver’s licenses in just thirty minutes upon application or renewal.

Toma also said their present system can easily verify their records to determine if the driver’s license issued is original or not

He said clients should transact their business at the LTO windows with people in uniform and not with “fixers” outside the LTO fence to avoid being charged with a high rate.

“Merong nagreklamo kasi daw malaki ang binayaran sa pagkuha ng license n’ya. Pero ng tanungin, ang sabi sa labas ng LTO pala s’ya lumapit,” said Toma.

He added that the fees and charges for the services of the office are very minimal depending whether the transaction is under the Driver’s Licensing System (DLS) or Motor Vehicle Registration System (MVRS).

Toma also said that their services have become more strict and efficient as they would not accept applications with lacking documents.

“Wala na dito yung ‘pwede ba nating mapag-usapan” sa office namin dahil wala nang VIP treatment pagdating sa process,” he said.

Sherwin Lipio, 30 years old, from Ampayon, Butuan City said he is satisfied with the services of LTO Butuan District Office because he only paid the amount required for the services he availed as printed in the official receipt.

He also said that the processing is smooth, fast and efficient as he experienced during his driver’s license application.

LTO Butuan is the first to apply for ISO accreditation in the entire LTO District Offices in Caraga Region.