As part of the celebration of the 2018 Month of Overseas Filipinos (MOF), the Inter-Agency Committee on MOF, chaired by the Philippine Migrants Rights Watch and co-chaired by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, conducted the Regional Forum on Migration and Consultation with Migration-Related Agencies at Negros Oriental Convention Center in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental on November 9, 2018.
The MOF activity, second in the three-part Regional Fora series with the theme: “Kaalaman sa Pera, Maginhawang Buhay ang Dala: Towards Financial Literacy for Overseas Filipinos and their Families”, is in line with the policy pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte of bringing migrant services from the national government closer to the people, especially in the countryside. It was organized in partnership with the Provincial Government of Negros Oriental under the leadership of Governor Roel Ragay Degamo; and was attended by more than 200 participants composed of migrants, migrant returnees and their families, government employees, OFW organizations from different cities and municipalities of Negros Oriental and Occidental. It was graced by IAC Chairperson Carmelita Nuqui, Assistant Provincial Administrator Atty. Froilan Joseph Pinili and PESO Manager Ramon Benedicto of the Provincial Government.
The event started with free consultation with migration-related agencies for migrants and their families. Officers and representatives from the CFO, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Labor and Employment, National Reintegration Center for OFWs, Overseas Workers Welfare and Administration, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Statistics Authority, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, provided assistance and information materials, and entertained inquiries (on ATN cases, scholarship program for dependents of OFWs, passporting, human trafficking, setting up of business, etc.) from the participants. The PhilHealth, Social Security System and Pag-IBIG offered first time membership application and registration services, and updates on contributions for their respective members.
Mobile SSS membership registration
CFO giving away BalinkBayan, Peso Sense and anti-human trafficking IEC materials
Mobile PhilHealth membership registration
Free consultation on DFA Passporting and ATN services
Mobile Pag-IBIG membership registration
Free consultation on DOLE/OWWA/NRCO services
After the consultation, the forum commenced highlighting the different financial literacy programs and investment opportunities for overseas Filipinos and their families. Several government agencies presented their respective programs and services. Ms. Michelle Dawn Bande (who represented CFO Secretary Nick Acosta and Usec. Astravel Pimentel-Naik) presented CFO’s flagship program – PESO Sense: Financial Literacy Campaign for Overseas Filipinos and their Families, easy saving tips and productive use of remittances. Ms. Nimfa M. Virtucio of DTI-Negros Oriental discussed tips on how to become successful entrepreneurs and the factors needed to consider when setting up a business. Ms. Valerie Anne Jill I. Valero of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas discussed financial inclusion initiative of the BSP, microfinance financial products available for OFs and their families, consumer assistance, tips on avoiding frauds and scams, debt and credit card management. Mr. Dexter F. Paro of the NRCO presented the reintegration programs of DOLE and secured investments for overseas Filipinos.
Ms. Carmelita Nuqui, Chair of IAC-MOF delivering the opening message
Ms. Dawn Bande of CFO serenading the audience with a heartwarming song
Assistant Provincial Administrator Atty. Froilan Joseph Pinili delivering the welcome message in behalf of Governor Degamo
Ms. Nimfa M. Virtucio of DTI discussing tips on how to become successful entrepreneurs
Mr. Dexter Paro of NRCO discussing reintegration
Ms. Jenilyn Encierto shared her success story as a migrant returnee. She and her husband used to work in Dubai, UAE in the food and hospitality service. They decided to return to their hometown to personally take care of their growing son, and invested their hard earned money from working abroad, by opening Flower’s Coffee, a quaint coffee shop in Dauin, Negros Oriental. They are also engaged in food catering business.
Ms. Jenilyn Encierto, a former barista in Dubai, shares her success reintegration story
Ambassador Olivia Palala of DFA, Mr. Reynaldo Jacalan of OWWA, Ms. Ligaya G. Dael of DSWD, Ms. Paulina B. Taguinod of Philheath, Mr. Fernando De Castro of Pag-IBIG, and Atty. Sylvette Sybico of SSS, presented updates on their programs and services (covering ATN, repatriation, welfare, reintegration, labor assistance, health, housing, and pension) for overseas Filipinos.
The IAC-MOF members answering queries from audience during the open forum
The Federation of OFW Association from Negros Occidental
The participants were treated with good food and entertained with jazz song numbers by the Negros Oriental Jazz Band with the special participation of Ms. Bande, and a delightful Filipino cultural dance by Kahayag Dance Company Philippines.
Dumaguete Lechon courtesy of the Provincial Government
The Negros Oriental Jazz Band
Kahayag Dance Company Philippines
The IAC-MOF team with Negros Oriental PESO Manager Ramon Benedicto
The first Regional Forum was held in Pangasinan last October 2018; the last will be held in Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental in November 13, 2018.
(This press release is prepared by Commission on Filipinos Overseas)