Some 52 overseas Filipino workers in Brunei attended a refresher course about the Philippine government’s assistance programs.
The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) gave the course during an outreach program for Filipino members of “Liwanag ni Kristo" (LNK) Brunei Group on July 13 at the Church of Our Lady of Assumption (COLA) at Bandar Seri Begawan.
“The purpose of the briefing was to provide overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) with basic knowledge and updates on the Embassy’s programs and services, particularly on labor and welfare services and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Social Security System (SSS), and Pag-IBIG membership coverage," the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a news release.
“They expressed appreciation to the Embassy for the orientation, which would enhance their understanding of the various labor policies of both the Philippines and Brunei which enables them to avail ... of Philippine government programs and services being offered," the DFA said.
LNK Brunei Group Leader Wilfredo Saludo and Neil Rutor welcomed the Embassy officers and staff.
The resource speakers for these briefings included Welfare Officer Zenaida Ramos, SSS Representative Marivic Rutor, and Pag-IBIG Representative Arlina Feliciano.
Welfare Officer Ramos discussed the OWWA programs and benefits, including disability and education benefits, livelihood loan programs for OFWs who want to go into business; workers assistance and on-site programs such as reintegration program; and special programs and projects such as the “Balik-Pinay, Balik-Hanapbuhay."
Ramos also reminded the workers to renew/update their OWWA membership to avail themselves of its various programs and benefits as well as for their protection.
She also encouraged OFWs to nominate OFWs who qualify for the 2011 Model OFW Family Year Award (MOFYA) and be role models for other OFW families.
Rutor updated the participants on SSS benefits, and emphasized the need for members to continue paying their premium contributions - preferably up to 120 contributions - to qualify them for lifetime retirement pay plus year-end bonus.
Feliciano discussed Philippine Republic Act 9679, requiring all OFWs to join the Pag-IBIG so they can enjoy its benefits such as savings that will earn tax-free dividends, low interest housing loans, salary loans, and calamity loans for eligible members. - VVP, GMA News