MANILA – The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) and the Department of Tourism (DOT) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Thursday to benefit overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who are planning to go back to the Philippines for good.
In a statement, DMW officer-in-charge Undersecretary Hans Leo Cacdac said that through the "Balik Bayani sa Turismo" partnership program, returning OFWs and their families will be provided with free tourism-related skills development and enhancement training that would open jobs and business opportunities for them so they could continue to provide for their families even as they return to the country.
“Walang OFW na ayaw umuwi (No OFW would never want to go back) for good. Everyone has plans for their families and communities. That’s why this partnership with the DOT is a huge help for our OFWs to come home with their families while having a sustainable source of income in the local tourism sector,” Cacdac said.
Among the tourism-related training that may be provided for the OFW and their families include culinary tourism, farm tourism, homestay operations, and skills on how to become tour guides.
Meanwhile, those who have acquired foreign language skills or have extensive experience in tourism-related activities can become part of the DOT’s pool of experts which would give them opportunities to become resource persons in various government programs.
In the same agreement, the DOT and the DMW will also provide scholarship grants to qualified OFWs and their family members interested in becoming tourism front-liners and service providers or tourism enterprise owners, in cooperation with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
DOT Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco underscored that the OFWs are the best tourism ambassadors of the Philippines because of the competence and expertise they offer to the world.
Moreover, Frasco said OFWs have acquired rich experiences that can help promote the country’s local tourism industry.
The Balik Bayani sa Turismo program is expected to strengthen the collaboration between the national and local governments in the implementation of the full-cycle and comprehensive reintegration programs and services for OFWs and their families while promoting the vibrant local tourism sector of the Philippines.
“We are counting on our partnership with the DMW because the returning OFWs are so much valued in the tourism industries because of their experience and expertise,” Frasco said. (PNA)