Gov. Pineda pledges help for first OFW centers in Pampanga
Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda has vowed to provide venues, equipment and other facilities for the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)-led Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Welfare Assistance Program Processing Centers in the province.
Pineda and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III recently led the launching of the processing centers, which will be the first welfare assistance program processing centers to be established in the country that aim to fast-track services for OFWs.
“We are pleased to inform our OFWs residing in Pampanga that they can now avail our various OFW-related services within their reach as we will be initially establishing six Centers in six local government units (LGUs) in the province,” Bello said during the event over the weekend.
A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was inked between the Pampanga Provincial Government, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and covered LGUs for the creation of these Centers.
Under the MOA, the initial six Centers will be established in Mabalacat city, and municipalities of Sta. Rita, Lubao, Macabebe, and San Luis.
“We will be providing the needed and appropriate staff to assist in the operation of these Centers. We will also be providing wards in the Jose B. Lingad Hospital and all of the Provincial Capitol’s hospitals exclusively for OFWs and their families,” Pineda said.
The established Centers shall determine the eligibility of OFWs and OFW Families availing Medical and Bereavement Assistance under the Welfare Assistance Program or WAP.
It shall also receive and process applications and release the checks and provide information as well as accept applications on other OWWA programs and services, if necessary and applicable.
The OWWA will supervise the operations of these Centers and take charge in providing the necessary orientation, training, and immersion for LGU personnel, said OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac.
Central Luzon is the third highest source of the total estimated 2.2 million OFWs, according to the latest survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority.
Calabarzon reported the biggest share of OFWs with 21.0 percent, followed by National Capital Region with 12.9 percent, and Central Luzon with 12.7 percent. #
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