OWWA-ICOT program launched
TACLOBAN CITY – The provincial government of Leyte and the Overseas Worker Welfare Administration (OWWA) in this region made a milestone in the country by launching a program that would connect Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to their family in the country.
Dubbed as OWWA-ICOT or Overseas Worker Welfare Administration–Information and Communication Online Technology, it uses modern technology through the use of video conferencing that will allow OFW family member and their loved ones in the province of Leyte to talk and see each other even if they are separated by thousands of miles.
“This will help in maintaining communication of family to keep their relationship intact even if they are separated because of work,” said Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla, who first mentioned about this plan when he forged a Memorandum of Agreement with the agency early this year for OWWA help desk in the province.
“I’m not saying that we are giving solution to the growing numbers of family that became broken, but we are here to at least give them ways to maintain their relationship as family by giving them the chance to communicate with each other through the use of technology,” the governor stressed.
Communicating now is easy and cheaper with the use of new technology by use of cell phone you can regularly talk with your loved one abroad and another innovation of new technology is the teleconferencing and videoconferencing using yahoo messenger and Skype.
In the materialization of this plan, the provincial government donated one computer unit to OWWA, with speaker phone and webcam.
The computer unit is located at the SMED Center where OFW family member may go to use said facility.
Eleven Philippine Overseas Labor Offices abroad had responded to this invitation of OWWA regional office to become part of the program, said OWWA OIC-Director II Ma. Evangelina V. Filamor.
Some of these 11 labor offices are located in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Jordan, Italy and United States of America.
OFWs can avail for this project by coordinating with Philippine Labor Offices, according to Filamor, while the family here in the region can avail the program by coordinating with the regional office of the OWWA.
It is however not limited to the constituents of the province of Leyte but even residents of Tacloban can avail the project.
In fact, the first one to avail of OWWA-ICOT was a resident of Pampanggo District in Tacloban who used to be a domestic helper in Malaysia.
Gloria Macabasag works in Malaysia as domestic helper but she only lasted there for about a month after she experienced maltreatment from her employers.
Macabasag was invited by OWWA to avail the program wherein through the use of videoconferencing she would be thanking the POLO office in Malaysia.
Aside from the OWWA-ICOT at the SMED Center, Governor Petilla said that once it become successful it should be replicated in the town level.
But even if the project has just started he already instructed some personnel of the provincial government to look for towns that have good internet access where OWWA-ICOT can be implemented. (Roel Amazona)
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