OWWA to launch program for OFW children

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THE OVERSEAS Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) on Tuesday said it is launching a program that will give support to children of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

In a statement, OWWA said its board of trustees chaired by Labor Secretary Bienvenido E. Laguesma and Migrant Workers Secretary Susan V. Ople approved a budget of P15 million to cover operational and administrative expenses of the program.

The OFW Children’s Circle (OCC), to be implemented by the agency’s regional offices across the country, will include psycho-social assistance and promoting digital literacy among children of OFWs.

“OCC programs and activities aim to help children cope with the negative effects and social costs of migration, not to mention the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and other global emergencies,” it said.

OWWA is one of the six labor agencies that will be absorbed by the newly established Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), which is targeted to be fully operational by next year.

Philippine Statistics Authority data show that there were 1.77 million land and sea-based OFWs as of 2020, lower than the 2.18 million reported in 2019 due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) and the DMW signed a joint circular to ensure a smooth and speedy transition of DoLE agencies dealing with OFWs to the new government agency.

The circular would ensure the continuation of attached agencies’ projects, Mr. Laguesma said.

In December last year, former President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed the law establishing the DMW with the goal of streamlining procedures that will address OFW concerns. — John Victor D. Ordoñez