(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Monday, 28 November 2022) Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) affecting Mindanao. Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Dinagat Islands will experience cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms due ITCZ. Possible flash floods or landslides due to moderate with at times heavy rain. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due ITCZ / Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to moderate winds coming Northeast to East will prevail with slight to moderate seas / (0.6 to 2.1 meters).


Thursday, February 10, 2022

OWWA Caraga releases P8.58M livelihood assistance

BUTUAN CITY --  The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), through its Regional Welfare Offices, released PhP8.58 million livelihood assistance under the "Balik Pinas, Balik Hanapbuhay" (BPBH) Program to the distressed and displaced OFW returnees in the region for the entire period of year 2021. 


A total of 476 eligible beneficiaries were granted with the said assistance after a thorough evaluation process based on the program guidelines. The provinces of Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur have the highest number of recipients both accounting for 112 recipients, 96 from Agusan del Norte, 83 from Agusan del Sur, 69 from Butuan, and 4 recipients from the Province of Dinagat Islands.


Under the amended guidelines of BPBH, the financial assistance shall vary on the membership status of the OFW applicant; a livelihood assistance grant in a form of cheque worth PhP20,000 for active member-OFWs, PhP10,000 for non-active member-OFWs with more than one contribution and PhP5,000 for non-active member-OFWs with one contribution. 


Eligible beneficiaries of the program are those who were displaced by hostilities or wars or political conflicts, policy reforms or changes by host governments; victims of illegal recruitment or human trafficking or other distressful situations; those who are at the distressed wards at the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Resource Centers who are due for repatriation. They are entitled to receive a package of livelihood assistance grant in a form of cheque, Entrepreneurship Development Training (EDT), and other access to capability building training to broaden their knowledge in honing their entrepreneurial skills. 


Apart from the livelihood assistance for the distressed and displaced OFW returnees, a loan facility, which is on a collateral basis, is also available for OFWs who want to engage in business enterprise in either start-up or additional capital for an existing business venture. The business loan program is in partnership with the Land Bank of the Philippines that determines and provides the amount of loan grant, which offers lower interest rates. Meanwhile, OWWA shall provide the training on business enterprise under this partnership. 


BPBH is one of the core programs of the agency, and it is expected to provide constant services to the qualified applicants even amidst the pandemic crisis. Last February 4, 2022, OWWA Caraga conducted a webinar on EDT via Zoom to 34 distressed OFW participants. This online training aims to equip the OFWs with the necessary information and skills prior to their business undertakings. 


As per BPBH monitoring unit, the majority of the applicants in Caraga opt for ventures in merchandising and agricultural business. Since it has been observed that e-commerce is changing the course of entrepreneurship, some applicants emerged their business to online platforms. 


For non-members or undocumented Filipino migrant workers, corresponding assistance is provided by the National Reintegration Center for Overseas Filipino Workers (NRCO) Caraga. Their program varies from counseling, job search assistance, enterprise development, skills training and capability enhancement and assistance to distressed OFWs. 


To know more information about the Livelihood Assistance Program, interested applicants may visit OWWA Caraga located at Nimfa Tiu Bldg. II, J.P. Rosales Ave., Butuan City, or contact the hotline numbers 09503057533/ 09551884858/ 09123289262. (OWWA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)