The families of overseas workers in Valenzuela City can now expect of a quicker response to their concerns as the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) sets up a help desk at the city hall.
OWWA Administrator Carmencita Dimzon and Valenzuela City Mayor REX Gatchalian on November 12, Tuesday, signed a memorandum of agreement that establishes a local Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Help Desk.
The signing was held on the second day of the job fair at the city hall, which was organized in celebration of the 390th founding anniversary of the city.
Administrator Dimzon said that, “The OFW help desk will provide up-to-date information to the OFW constituents on all the processes and aspects of overseas employment.”
The OWWA’s program and services will include (a) disability, dismemberment, and death benefits, (b) education and training, (c) legal assistance, (d) repatriation, and (e) reintegration to society.
Based on the memorandum, the local government will provide office space and personnel who will run the help desk. OWWA, on the other hand, will assign an OFW Family Officer who will regularly coordinate with the help desk personnel.
Public Employment Services Office (PESO) Manager, Luningning Martin said the help desk would have been set up by the third week of November.
OWWA has put up around 500 help desks across local governments in the country since 2010. The Valenzuela City help desk is the eighth in the National Capital Region.
Mayor REX shared that, “Day in and day out, OFW families come to the city hall, each with their own concern. The establishment of this forthcoming local help desk will definitely hasten the delivery of services by the city government to its OFW constituents.”
OWWA data show there are 16,954 OFWs in Valenzuela City: 12,608 land-based workers and 4,346 seafarers.
For Jennifer Beato, who has an OFW husband in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the help desk would prove helpful in applying for loans.
Yolly Fuensalida said that she appreciates such government projects for OFWs, but what she really hopes for is for the government to protect OFWS from harsh treatment by their employees. An Electronics and Communication Engineering graduate, 42-year-old Fuensalida was a domestic helper in Kuwait, KSA from 2010 to 2011. She said her Kuwaiti employer would verbally abuse her, but did not go into details.