DOLE launches search for outstanding OFW family


By Jerrie M. Abella – The Department of Labor and Employment launched Friday the 2010 Model OFW Family of the Year Award (MOFYA) in recognition of the outstanding achievement of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) and their families.

During the launch, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the award is in line with President Benigno Aquino III’s thrust to strengthen the welfare and protection of what has been acclaimed as the country’s “modern-day heroes”.

“The awards’ main objective (is) to recognize the outstanding achievements of OFWs and their families in the process of serving as role models and inspiration to the entire OFW community here and around the world,” Baldoz said.

She cited previous winners like Steve Tamayo of the Tamayo’s Catering, Restaurant and Flower Shop, who was the 2009 MOFYA special awardee for outstanding achievement in entrepreneurship.

According to Baldoz, Tamayo began his OFW career as a waiter in Kuwait, but rose from the ranks to managerial position at the Kuwait International Hotel, until his return to the country following the Gulf War.

Baldoz likewise cited the 2009 MOFYA awardee for outstanding achievement in community projects, nurse Zenaida Sanchez Naga, who conducted medical missions, and put up a technical-vocational school providing valuable healthcare, computer literacy, food and beverage, and other skills courses.

Naga was forced to return to the country from Libya to take care of her sick child in Lanao del Sur, Baldoz said.

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Administrator Carmelita Dimzon explained the categories of the MOFYA, which are the following:
Regional winners, with the 17 regions having two MOFYA winners each, one from the land-based category and one from the sea-based category, or a total of 34 MOFYA regional winners
Two national winners, one each from the land-based and sea-based categories chosen from among the regional winners
Two more national awardees to be conferred Special Awards on Outstanding Achievement in Community Projects and Outstanding Achievement in Entrepreneurship
Groups who can nominate an OFW family for the award may include non-government or people’s organizations, religious groups, community-based socio-civic groups, and local government units.

Baldoz explained that no nomination submitted by individuals shall be accepted.

To be eligible for nomination, an OFW family must have the following qualifications:
The family is headed by an OFW, land-based or sea-based, formerly or presently working abroad with a formal or informal contract of employment or work permit, and with proof of OWWA membership
The OFW, either married or single, is the head of the family, and has at least four years of work experience as an OFW
The OFW family is known as a stable family in the locality
Financially stable.
The deadline for nominations is on September 17, 2010.

For the complete details on the criteria, documentary requirements, and for other questions, interested individuals may visit the OWWA office located at 7th St. cor. F.B. Harrison, Pasay City, Philippines; call telephone nos. +632.8340719 and 24/7 OWWA Operations Center +632.8336992 (833OWWA); or e-mail opcenter@owwa.gov.ph and owwa_opcenter@yahoo.com.

P60,000 program launch

The launch was held at the posh Ilustrado restaurant in Intramuros in Manila, with the cost of a full meal ranging from P500 to P700.

Asked how much OWWA spent for the launch, Dimzon said the restaurant had the cheapest rates among the hotels they asked, and was “generous enough” to give them a discount.

“We didn’t spend much for this program,” Baldoz said.

A restaurant’s reservations officer, however, said the launch cost as much as P60,000, or P600 each for 100 guests.

Private companies who sent representatives to the launch include Globe Telecom Inc., Bank of the Philippine Islands and Banco de Oro.

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