ZAMBOANGA CITY — The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) –Regional Welfare Office IX treated over 800 Overseas Filipino Workers, returnees and family members to a day of fun and free medical consultation at LM Metro Hotel, Zamboanga City last December 13, 2018, in celebration of the OFW Family Day.

The OFW Family Day is conducted in the spirit of Christmas and in recognition of the Overseas Filipino Workers for their contribution in uplifting the economy and in nation building.

Gracing the occasion as keynote speaker was 2018 Regional MOFYA Winner for Land Based Category and Awardee of the 2018 Outstanding Achievement for Community Services Engr. Mohammad Ali S. Urao.

Engr. Urao shared the difficulties and challenges he experienced as an overseas worker and encouraged the 800 OFWs who participated in the event, to not stay long abroad so as not to miss witnessing milestones in their children’s lives or lose chances of being with their families and love ones. He added that as an OFW, one has the responsibility to look after the welfare of our community and country as a way of paying it forward.

Zamboanga City Mayor Isabelle Climaco-Salazar, OFC Federation President Ladjakaya Abubakar gave inspirational messages to the OFWs in attendance. Also present were Department of Labor and Employment Assistant Regional Director Albert Gutib who represented Regional Director Ofelia B. Domingo, members of the Regional Coordinating Committee and Association of the Zamboanga Philippine Recruitment Agencies.

Invited guests and OWWA 9 staff themselves provided entertainment to include Tinig Himig 2018 OFW Family Singing Idol Grand Finalist Nurjaida Alijam, Montesorri de Zamboanga Dance Sports Team and JR Natividad.

There was free medical consultation courtesy of Dra. Zaida S. Urao and Dr. Rony Bagongon and a “tiangge” showcasing products of the OFW Family Circles (OFCs) and Ardeur de France.

Meanwhile, 98 families received food packages, 57 received gifts coming from sponsors and institutional partners, and 14 fortunate families won the major prizes which include kettles, rice cooker, electric fan, gas stove, television and refrigerator during the grand raffle draw.

The OFW Family Day is being held annually in hopes of giving OFWs and their families a respite from their busy schedules. END/With reports from Fatima Jane Salihuddin, OWWA 9