This year’s theme, “Kabuhayan at Teknolohiya para sa OFWs at Pamilya” commemorates the continued protection of Overseas Filipino Workers’ (OFW) rights and their welfare in recognition of their contribution to Philippine economy or known as the Republic Act 8042 or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995.

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Regional Welfare Office 9 held its Migrant Workers Day celebration last 28 June 2018, Thursday, at the LM Metro Hotel, Tetuan, participated by more than 1,000 attendees from OFW Family Circles (OFCs) across Region 9, Department of Labor & Employment – Regional Coordinating Committee (DOLE-RCC) and selected government agencies.

OWWA9 Regional Director Hassan Gabra T. Jumdain, quoted the message of Special Assistant to the President and Head of the Presidential Management Staff Secretary Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Tesoro Go: “Ultimately, what the Duterte administration is trying to achieve is a Philippines that has an environment that is conducive to investments, businesses and entrepreneurship. We want our OFWs to come back to a Philippines where there are better jobs and equally competitive pay. It is our hope that when all of these are done, working abroad will become a choice rather than a necessity for talented and skilled Filipinos.”

Meanwhile, OWWA9 Supervising Administrative Officer, Ms. Araceli C. Saavedra, read the message of OWWA Administrator Atty. Hans Leo J. Cacdac quoting: “We have many reasons to celebrate this 23rd Migrant Workers’ Day. At the same time, today’s celebration gives us more hope to strive for better things, in the name of protecting you, dear OFWs and OFW families. Kasi po, kung wala po kayo, bagsak po ang ekonomiya natin. Kaya’t layunin naming tulungan kayo at bigyan kayo ng kaukulang proteksiyon”.

Spearheaded by Director Jumdain, OWWA9 awarded Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay! (BPBH) kits and Welfare Assistance Program (WAP) cash grants to 40 applicants.

OWWA9 also staged OFW Singing Idol participated by 8 contenders from Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga City. Three best performers emerged as winners who will compete in the Weekly Finals on October 12, 2018 at the DZME Studio namely: John Leo Moywela from Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur, Mr. Adzmin Jumdani from Upper Calarian, Zamboanga City and Ms. Nurjaida Alami from Lower Calarian, Zamboanga City.

Apart from the intermission numbers given by different OFCs, OWWA had drawn 30 lucky raffle winners of 25 kg sacks of rice.

END – With reporting from Fatuma Jane Salihuddin, OWWA9