TURNOVER OF ASSISTANCE. Councilor Isidro Gomed Jr. (3rd from left) and OWWA-Western Visayas OIC-Regional Director Rizza Joy Moldes (2nd from right) turn over financial assistance to a distressed overseas Filipino worker from E.B. Magalona, Negros Occidental at the Mayor's Office on Thursday (March 16, 2023). They are joined by (from left) E. B. Magalona OFWs Federation president Nilo Ortizo and OFWs Negros Occidental Federation Inc. president Sally Barrios and Municipal Public Employment Service Office manager Jessilyn Plaza. (Photo courtesy of E.B. Magalona, Negros Occidental PIO)

BACOLOD CITY – Some 28 displaced or distressed Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) from E. B. Magalona, Negros Occidental have availed financial assistance from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) from January to March this year.

Data on Friday showed the recipients include 14 OFWs who received the aid on March 16; nine on March 3; and five on Jan. 12.

Liza Borja, the focal person of the Municipal OFWs Help Desk, said the three batches of beneficiaries were given assistance depending on their OWWA membership status.

Of the latest recipients, nine received PHP20,000 each; three, PHP10,000 each; and two, PHP5,000 each.

One of the programs and services of the OWWA, the “Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay!” provides a package of livelihood support or assistance as immediate relief to returning member-OFWs amounting to a maximum PHP20,000 as a start-up or additional capital for the livelihood project.

The OFW-member is required to attend an enterprise development training session before the submission of application forms and complete requirements, and undergo a business site inspection.

Also last month, the OWWA, assisted by the municipal government, fetched OFW Liezel Labial, 50, at the Bacolod-Silay Airport when on her way home to E.B. Magalona after she suffered a stroke while working as a housekeeper in Hong Kong.

Borja said the repatriation was facilitated by the Migrant Workers Office (formerly known as the Philippine Overseas Labor Office) of the Department of Migrant Workers.

In E.B. Magalona, some 2,428 OFWs, both land-based and sea-based, are OWWA members as of November 2022. (PNA)