OWWA Provides Scholarships to Children of OFW Families
Aileen Pranillos, 19, has been a scholar of Bantay Bata 163’s Bantay Edukasyon for nine years now. She and her three other siblings live with their maternal grandmother as their mother works abroad in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia as a domestic helper.
On the other hand, her older brother, Reymond Pranillos, 20, stopped schooling because of financial reasons. He is supposed to be an incoming first year college student and would like to enroll in Hotel and Restaurant Management or an Information Technology program.
But when Bantay Bata 163 inked an agreement with Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, the child-care program endorsed Aileen’s brother for OWWA’s OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (OFWDSP).
In an interview in DZMM’s Kapamilya Konek, Hans Leo Dacdac, OWWA’s Chief Administrator, explained that the OFWDSP aims to help dependents of active OWWA members who have a monthly income of not more than $600.00 (around Php33,000). “Pwede nating gawing scholar ang isang anak nilang nasa kolehiyo,” he said. (For members who qualify the requirement, we can provide scholarship for one of their children who is currently in college.)
OFWDSP grants financial assistance worth PHP20,000.00.
L-R: Jing Castañeda (Kapamilya Konek Host and ALKFI-Bantay Bata 163’s Program Director), Aileen Pranillos (Bantay Edukasyon Scholar), Hans Leo Cacdac (OWWA Administrator) Jocelyn Sanchez (POEA Deputy Administrator), Susan Bautista-Afan (Kapamilya Konek Host and ALKFI’s Managing Director), and Arnell Ignacio (OWWA Deputy Administrator) live
Cacdac also shared that OWWA likewise offers a scholarship grant to qualified beneficiaries or dependents of active OWWA members who intend to enroll a 4 to 5-year baccalaureate course in any preferred colleges or universities. This is the Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP) where a form of financial assistance amounting to a maximum of PHP60,000.00 will be given per school year.
“Basta po merong anak ng OFW na 80% ang grado sa high school o kung nasa gitna ng kolehiyo 85%, pwede ho nating gawing scholar ng OWWA (under EDSP),” he explained. (Those active-OWWA members with children or dependents who are in high school with a grade not lower than 80% and those in college with a grade not lower than 85%, can apply for the scholarship grant under EDSP.)
Another scholarship grant which both OFWs and their dependents can apply for is the Skills-for-Employment Scholarship Program (SPESP). According to OWWA’s website, “It is in the form of training assistance with OWWA assuming the training cost in vocational/technical courses accredited by TESDA and other government institutions as prescribed in the existing implementing guidelines.” A financial assistance of PHP14,500.00 will be given and applicants may choose their preferred training course from OWWA’s recognized Training Providers.
Cacdac added that OWWA also provides livelihood assistance for its members.
“Iyong mga hindi nakakatapos ng kontrata, naudlot ang kontrata, nagkaroon ng problema sa amo, pwede ho bigyan ng livelihood program sa kanilang pagbabalik. PHP20,000 cash po ang iginagawad ng OWWA basta may pa-seminar, may business plan, at mayroong site inspection ng binabalak na negosyo.” (Those OFWs who were not able to finish their contracts, those who have problems with their contracts and their employers, we can provide them assistance with our livelihood program. OWWA will provide an assistance of PHP20,000.00 as long as they have attended seminars, they have a business plan, and a site inspection that will be conducted on the place where they want to start their business.)
Aside from assisting OFWs, OWWA is also in partnership with ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation’s Bantay Bata 163. The partnership provides better access to OFWs, their families, and the general public to report incidents of abuse through the Bantay Bata 1-6-3 Hotline, and institutionalize OWWA's programs for the protection of the families and children left behind.
“So iyong Bantay Bata 163 at OWWA, may isinasagawang mga instructional videos, mga informational and educational materials, para maipamahagi natin sa mga komunidad na kailangang iwasan ang child abuse. [Ito ay] para ma-protektahan natin iyong mga naiwang mga anak, lalo na iyong mga batang anak ng mga OFWs,” Cacdac shared. (Bantay Bata 163 and OWWA have instructional videos, informational and educational materials, which are shown to communities so we can prevent child abuse. This is to protect and give care to the children of OFWs who needed to leave their kids because they have to work out of the country.)
“Sa overseas naman po, sa embahada ng Pilipinas, ka-partner natin ang Department of Foreign Affairs at Department of Labor and Employment. Sa mga labor attaché and welfare officer natin overseas, pwede rin hong lumapit,” he added. (If they are overseas, they can also reach out to our labor attaché and welfare officers. The Philippine Embassy is in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Labor and Employment.)
Call OWWA Hotline 1348 or visit their website at owwa.gov.ph, or through its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/OWWAofficial/.
Kapamilya Konek, Konek ka D’yan is a radio show produced by ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc. that airs on DZMM 630 and DZMM Teleradyo every Sunday at 5:00 P.M. Kapamilya Konek also joined the DZMM Kapamilya Day in Manuel Roxas High School where 500 families in Paco, Manila benefited from an outreach activity with DZMM’s Teaching, Learning and Caring’s (TLC) mobile library, mobile kitchen of ALKFI-Operation Sagip, and a seminar on children’s right and protection by Bantay Bata 163. DZMM’s partners also rendered services such as medical mission, free massage, free haircut, and food packs distribution.