OWWA allocates P15 million for OFW children’s welfare program

OWWA allocates P15 million for OFW childrenâs welfare program
An overseas Filipino worker has her temperature taken prior to checking in at the counters of the NAIA-1 departure area on May 29, 2021.
Krizjohn Rosales, file

MANILA, Philippines — The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is allocating a P15-million budget for the initial implementation of a program to help children left behind by migrant Filipino workers.

The OWWA is launching the OFW Children’s Circle (OCC), which seeks to “address the societal impact of labor migration.” 

"OCC programs and activities aim to help children cope with the negative effects and social costs of migration, not to mention the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and other global emergencies,” the OWWA said in a statement on Tuesday. 

The OCC was formally approved last week through the OWWA Board Resolution No. 7, while its initial funding will be used for operational and administrative expenses. 

In March, the Philippine Statistics Authority estimated that the number of OFWs stood at 1.77 million from April to September in 2020. Majority or 59.6% of OFWs are women, while 40.4% are males.

OFW remittances increased a record 5.1% last year, with overseas workers sending home $34.88 billion against $33.19 billion in 2020. The figure also topped the pre-pandemic high of $33.47 billion in remittances.

READ: OFW remittances hit all-time high in 2021

As the peso continues to weaken against the greenback, every dollar sent home by OFWs helps support their families cope with rising prices of commodities.

However, having a parent abroad may result in negative effects on children’s wellbeing and mental health, OWWA said. The OCC will host specific activities to "improve socialization skills and harness coping mechanisms of OFW children."

It will also create opportunities for OFW children to showcase their creativity and talent, as well as be a way for them to learn about civic advocacies that may be related to environment and climate change, values reorientation, digital literacy, and anti-drugs and substance abuse.

The OWWA also eyes the OCC to become an avenue for OFW children to create their own community and encourage them to participate in policy and program development. 

For its initial launch, the OCC will first be implemented by OWWA across its regional welfare offices in Metro Manila, Ilocos, Calabarzon, Central Visayas, and in the Davao Region.





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