OWWA helps 26,000 OFWs from Malaysia
Thousands of repatriated illegal overseas Filipino workers (OFW) from Sabah, Malaysia could begin their lives anew after being assisted by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said around 26,000 OFWs were helped by OWWA after they were sent home by the Malaysian government during the first quarter amid its renewed crackdown on undocumented migrant workers.
“They were temporarily housed at the One-Stop Shop Processing Centers (OSPCs) in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi and in Zamboanga City,” Baldoz said.
Citing a report from OWWA-Region 9 director Hassan Gabra Jumdain, Baldoz said many of the beneficiaries underwent orientation for legal deployment abroad, while some opted to avail of the government’s reintegration program.
Among them were 9 former OFWs, who loaned around P10 million under P2 billion National Reintegration program to jumpstart their own business.
Baldoz also said the OWWA have also launched the first ever job fair in Tawi-Tawi to provide alternative employment to the displaced OFWs.
Around 1,088 applicants attended the job fair, where 8,034 job vacancies were up for grabs.
“Sixty job applicants, 34 of them women, were hired on the spot, and 316 others were qualified in the first job fair,” Baldoz said.
Jumadain said the job fair also aim to prevent OFWs from seeking illegal employment in Malaysia, where they are prone to abuse.