Tuesday, November 3, 2015

TODA OFC members participate in financial literacy seminar, simple business plan making

BUTUAN CITY, Nov. 3 (PIA) - Enthusiastic for their first organizational development training, some 50 members of Talacogon Overseas Filipino Workers and Dependent Association (TODA) actively participated in the Financial Literacy Seminar and Simple Business Plan Making carried out recently by Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Regional Welfare Office 13 in partnership with Atikha Overseas Workers and Communities Initiative Inc. (AOWCI).

In her discussion on Financial Literacy, Christy Mae Espejon of AOWCI gave emphasis on the value and concept of saving, investment, and budgeting of OFW’s income. Espejon also facilitated several exercises to elaborate her discussion among the participants.

Likewise, other topics during the seminar such as Migration Realities and Simple Business Plan Making were tackled by OWWA personnel. 

“We are indeed grateful that after we have been organized months ago, our request to have this kind of informational training was finally realized with the help of OWWA,” expressed TODA president Fernando Otaza in local dialect.

OWWA Caraga responded to the request of TODA members in consonance with its relentless endeavor to provide reintegration services among OFW organizations and capacitate them with various organizational developmental trainings.

OWWA Family Welfare Officer Ronilo Maningo, who assisted the organization on the process of establishing their organization, asserted that the said training is only the first of the series of trainings intended to strengthen and develop the OFW Family Circles (OFC) towards becoming self-reliant organizations. 

“Hopefully, for 2016 program planning we can encompass Talacogon OFC along with other OFW organizations to have the set of training programs,” bared Maningo. (OWWA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


SurSur nears threshold of food scarcity to feed 3,000 evacuees

By Greg Tataro, Jr.

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Nov. 3 (PIA) – Amid the mounting problem of “sanitation and hygiene” exacerbated by the start of the downpour of monsoon rains five days ago, Governor Johnny Pimentel revealed that funds for the food provisions intended for some 3,000 evacuees who continue to take shelter at the Surigao del Sur Sports Center would only last until the mid of this month of November.

He said during the flag ceremony program on Monday “We are now looking for other donors.  I called up other institutions—BDO will be coming over, so hopefully makatabang sila (they can be of help).”

Governor Pimentel pointed out that “An ato food provisions from the provincial government mokabat pa nan two weeks.  So kutob November 15 pwede pang makaya pa nato yaon. . . after that wala na’y atong. . .(Our food provisions from the provincial government will only last for about two weeks.  So until Novermber 15, we can still afford to feed them. . . after that we have no more).”

However, the provincial chief executive expressed optimism his administration could still hold on.

“We hope we can find a solution,” he stressed.

Pimentel cited another worry, saying that “because five days na ang ulan. . . sigurado ako yaon mga bata ngad-on magsugod na pagpangasakit.  And then,  not only that, we have 89 pregnant women na kauban nila.  An 19 nanganak na.  You can just imagine katignaw ngad-on. . .(because of the five-day downpour of rain. . . I’m pretty sure children out there will start to get sick.  And then,  not only that, we have 89 pregnant women among them (evacuees).  Nineteen of whom had already given birth.  You can just imagine how chilly their situation is out there. . .)”

Meanwhile, the governor admitted that early on there had been quite a number of donors on basic needs, but as usual they only gave once.

Likewise, Governor Pimentel, disclosed the BFP-Tandag City had already given up on supplying water using their “fire trucks.”

However, he was so thankful that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) had taken over the job using a similar truck for water supply that can address the problem on “hygiene and sanitation.”

Pimentel told capitol employees that pending solution to the demands, particularly the capture of the three suspects behind the killings of Emerito Samarca, Dionel Campos, and Bello Sinzo, nobody would know when the evacuees could get back home to their respective communities. (NGBT/Radyo ng Bayan-Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Two displaced Caraganon OFWs repatriated

By Jean Pearl I. Millones

BUTUAN CITY, Nov. 3 (PIA) - On November 1, 2015, Sunday, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Regional Welfare Office Caraga extended repatriation services to OFWs Gemma T. Guinanas and Shella Lane C. Dalagan.

The 32-year old OFW Gemma T. Guinanas is a resident of Brgy. Pianing, this city.  Guinanas, a first timer, left the country sometime in July 2015 and served as a household service worker in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

However, her employment lasted only for three months after she ran away from her employer to escape from the maltreatment of her female boss. She sought shelter at the Philippine Embassy and was housed at the Bahay Kalinga of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Riyadh.

Before departing from the country to work abroad, aspiring OFWs are required to undergo the Pre-departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) for contract familiarization, profile of the country of destination, stages of the OFWs life, health and safety, airport procedures and government programs and services.

On the other hand, OFW Shella Lane C. Dalagan is not new towards overseas work. She has already worked in Qatar in 2011 but did not finish her contract. A health condition prevented her from carrying out her work and compelled her to return home in Carmen, Agusan del Norte.

The pressing educational needs of her daughter, now a third year college student, forced Shella to go back overseas. She left for Dubai on December 2014. Her employment sailed smoothly until the same ill health she once had recurred. Her employer took her to her foreign agency after which she was sent back to the Philippines.

OFWs Gemma and Shella were assisted by OWWA personnel at the Manila International Airport and were accommodated at the OWWA Halfway House while their papers were processed for travel to Butuan City.                                                        

The two were escorted by the OWWA Caraga personnel to their homes as part of the repatriation program of the agency. They were likewise introduced to the Balik Pinas!, Balik Hanapbuhay!, a reintegration program which provides livelihood assistance of Php 10,000.00 for displaced and distressed OFWs. (OWWA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


LCEs, info officers and media gather for PhilHealth SHInES in Caraga

By Dr. Israel Francis A. Pargas

BUTUAN CITY, Nov. 3 (PIA) - A huge success.

This is how the recently concluded Social Health Insurance Education Series (SHInES) in Caraga can be described, if one goes by the number of participants who attended the activity. The two-day orientation held at the Almont Inland Resort, this city brought in some 400 participants from the local government units, media, academe, national government agencies and non-government organization-partners, region-wide.

About 27 media practitioners from different tri-media outfits, 58 information officers of government and non-government offices, and representatives from civic organizations and the academe attended the SHInES for the multi-sectoral audience held on the first day.

The SHInES for Local Chief Executives (LCEs) gathered almost 250 participants that included 15 mayors and representatives from the different LGUs in the region, and the governor of Agusan del Norte.  PhilHealth officers and staff members from various Local Health Insurance Offices in the region also came to learn more about new developments and updates on membership and benefits.

PhilHealth Caraga Regional Vice President for Caraga Johnny Sychua welcomed the participants to the SHInES for media and gave a rundown of the topics to be discussed.  “We want to share with you the importance of this activity, why we are conducting this for all of you, since you are our partners in sharing the right information to our members,” Sychua said.  He added that, “our agenda include IECs on ALAGA Ka series, ReachOut, and other relevant activities that we regularly conduct.” 

PhilHealth’s executive vice president and chief operating officer Ramon Aristoza, Jr. urged the media “not only to help PhilHealth in promoting the National Health Insurance Program but also help us curb and report fraud.”  He said that this activity brings in the intended participants as advocates of the program.

During the SHInES for LCEs, Governor Ma. Angela Rosedell Amante-Matba of Agusan del Norte enthusiastically shared how the provincial government was able to make the no balance billing (NBB) really work in local government-owned Cabadbaran District Hospital, citing success factors such as prudent use of the revolving fund as well as retraining of hospital employees to make them more efficient in assisting PhilHealth members.  The governor challenged her colleagues in the region to do the same and implement the no balance billing in hospitals in their respective localities to help alleviate the financial woes of poor patients.“I challenge other LGUs to implement the no balance billing for poor patient-members in their area,” Matba said. 

PhilHealth president and chief executive officer Alexander A. Padilla mentioned that “for the last seven months we have been going around the country to conduct this activity to really impart the importance of the new NHI Act of 2013 which espouses a paradigm shift in the implementation of the program.” The PhilHealth chief also shared that “five years ago, PhilHealth was giving out P300 to P400 million a week but at present, we are paying about P1.7 billion a week in reimbursements.” With this trend, PhilHealth benefit payments may reach around P100 billion at the end of this year.    

Padilla urged the LCEs to go beyond the election fever and “be responsible for those who are enrolled in their LGUs and push for the enrollment of Barangay Health Workers and Nutrition Scholars for them to be part of the program.” Making reference to the policy on Accredited Collecting Agents for PhilHealth, the PhilHealth Chief said that the local government units are the perfect collection windows through which premium payments from all PhilHealth members in their localities may be received.

The SHInES aims to further the knowledge and awareness of PhilHealth’s external partners on the NHIP to make them strong and effective advocates of the program. (PhilHealth/PIA-Caraga)