Monday, June 4, 2018

OWWA holds First MDO Congress in Region 1

THE OWWA endeavors to strengthen its partnerships to the local government units, and the first Regional MDO Congress aims to hit that objective. (From left) OWWA administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac; Former DOLE Sec. and former OWWA administrator Marianito Roque; and, OWWA RWOI OIC Gerardo Rimorin. (OWWA Region I)

Dagupan City—For the first time ever, migrant desk officers (MDOs) from various local government units (LGUs) in Region 1 have gathered for the first Regional MDO Congress in the Philippines, held on April 12-13, 2018 in Pangasinan.

Led by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office I (OWWA RWOI), the activity convened the MDOs in the objective to strengthen them as the OWWA’s partner in the LGUs in the delivery of services to member-overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families.

A total of 105 MDOs took part in the congress; 46 were from Pangasinan, 18 from La Union, 26 from Ilocos Sur, and 15 from Ilocos Norte.

Highlight of the gathering was the forum discussions on the MDOs’ roles in the migration governance, held on April 12, 2018 at the Leisure Coast this city. Marianito D. Roque, former OWWA administrator and former Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) secretary, discussed on the legal foundation for the establishment of Migrant Desks in the LGUs. Mr. Roque, who pioneered in the formalization of partnerships of OWWA and the LGUs, zeroed in on the importance of these institutional partnerships in the overseas employment programs of the government.

Donald James D. Gawe, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Region 1 assistant regional director, discussed on the thrusts, policies and plans on migration development in Region 1.

Sharing their LGU’s experience on migration governance were the provincial governments of Batangas and Pangasinan, and the city government of Dagupan. Florita C. Lachica, assistant department head of the Batangas Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), discussed on migration development plan as a tool in the development. Meanwhile, Alex F. Ferrer, Pangasinan public employment services office (PESO) manager, highlighted the MDOs’ role in initiating OFW-focused projects and policies in the LGU level. Dagupan City administrator Farah Marie Decano, who represented Dagupan mayor Belen Fernandez, shared the city’s vision for its OFW-constituents.

The forum discussions were followed by the election of officers in the Regional MDO Council, where Roel Sabado of Rosales, Pangasinan was elected as president, and Rizaldy Organo of the provincial government of Ilocos Sur as vice president.

The MDOs also took part in the Gala Walk and Awards Night held at the Sison Auditorium, Lingayen, Pangasinan. Several MDOs were recognized by the OWWA for the exceptional performances and unparalleled services as the OWWA focal person in their respective LGUs.

Named as the Most Outstanding MDO in Region 1 was the provincial government of Pangasinan, through MDOs Christopher Dioquino and Elizardo Laureta. The Outstanding MDOs in the provincial level, meanwhile, were LGU Rosales, (through MDO Roel Sabado) for Pangasinan; provincial government of La Union (through MDO Charito Dator) for La Union; LGU Candon (through MDO Judy W. Liao) for Ilocos Sur; and the provincial government of Ilocos Norte (through MDO Dolores S. Cortes) for Ilocos Norte.

OWWA administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac expressed his deep gratitude to the MDOs for their strong and passionate partnership with the OWWA. He encouraged them to continue their sincere and heartfelt service to their OFW-constituencies. “May you be the embodiment of our tagline: the OWWA Cares because the MDOs care,” Mr. Cacdac said.

The congress centered on the theme, “Revisiting Roots, Renewing the Spirit, Upholding and Unifying Efforts Towards a Better Service for our OFWs and their families.”

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