News Releases

DOLE’s Assist W.E.L.L. secures overseas and local employment for 21 repatriated OFWs from Kuwait

Date Posted: February 15th, 2016 08:14 AM

The DOLE’s Assist W.E.L.L. program, particularly its employment services component, is already producing the desired result, with nine of 21 distressed OFWs repatriated from Kuwait last week having been “job matched” for overseas employment opportunities and the rest for local employment.

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said this yesterday after Philippine Overseas Employment Administration deputy chief Amuerfina R. Reyes reported the progress of the Assist W.E.L.L. program after the launching of its one-stop shop processing centers last week.

The 21 distressed OFWs—five nurses, 11 nurse assistants, and five caregivers—composed the first batch of returning OFWs enrolled and registered for assistance in the program’s e-Assist W.E.L.L. tracking and monitoring system.

They are as follows: Nurses (1) Josefa Gaspar Lazaro; (2) Alexis Grace Nisperos Cacho; (3) Cynthia Liz Cabrera Tumicad; (4) Shiela Marie Nicolas Ventura; and (5) Andrea Alexie Matig-a Talaman; Assistant Nurses (1) Norea Tabayag Madohiw; (2) Gemalyn Jimenez Macasieb; (3) Manilyn Pamittan Balungaya; (4) Prisencia K. Dumangeng; (5) Sherry Ann Tingson Pacit; (6) Ghelo Marie Iñola Naluaran; (7) Leonilda Ladero Petes; (8) Jonalee Pagay Basbaño; (9) Perry Lou P. Sanguenza; (10) Mishel S. Geromo; and (11) Carolyn A. Batioco; Caregivers (1) Charisse A. Lang-oy; (2) Marjorie M. Andres; (3) Angelique May Cayrel Marayag; (4) Lenilyn D. Magalang; and (5) Janeth L. Fernandez.

The OFWs who were matched with existing jobs in alternative markets and accordingly referred to the POEA-licensed overseas recruitment agencies were Prisencia K. Dumangeng, nurse assistant for Singapore or nursing aide for Norway; Charisse A. Lang-oy, nursing aide for Norway or caretaker in Taiwan; Marjorie M. Andres, massage therapist for New Zealand; Carolyn A. Batioco, sales associate for Singapore; Mishel S. Geromo, sales associate for Singapore; and Perry Lou P. Sanguenza, institution nursing aide for Taiwan.

OFWs Dumangeng and Lang-oy had also expressed desire to work here in the Philippines and were matched accordingly and referred to company nurses to Tiongsan Harrison in La Trinidad, Benguet. The lone OFW who expressed preference to work only in the country was Janeth L. Fernandez. She was matched for a provate caregiving work with Tech Trade Resources, Inc. in Davao City. Another OFW, Gemalyn Macasieb, had decided not to be referred yet.

“The job matching for the remaining 13 workers is unfinished yet, but based on the report, five of them opted for overseas jobs, while the remaining seven only asked for the requirements for government placement in Japan and Germany. Assist W.E.L.L. will continue to monitor them,” Baldoz explained.

The 21 OFWs were repatriated by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Kuwait after they complained of contract substitution; underpayment of salary; non-payment of overtime pay, rest day, and holiday pay; no sick leave; no food or food allowance of 25 KWD per month (P3,980); and illegal salary deductions, among others.

Assist W.E.L.L. Program services provided to the 21 distressed OFWs started the moment they stepped on home soil, according to Baldoz.

The Assist W.E.L.L. Program, adopted for implementation by DOLE concerned agencies by virtue of D.O. 139-14 s. 2014, is a component of the National Reintegration Program for OFWs and intended to ensure the successful reintegration of OFWs repatriated from crisis or emergency situations.

To implement the provisions of D.O. 139-14, s. 2014, Baldoz issued A.O. No. 21 on 8 January 2016 setting up Assist W.E.L.L. Processing Centers in 15 DOLE regional offices and one each at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, and National Reintegration Center for OFW. The processing centers ensure a synchronized and systematic delivery of the program’s package of assistance consisting of welfare, employment, livelihood, and legal services, or W.E.L.L.

On the legal concerns, Assist W.E.L.L., through POEA lawyers, assisted them in preparing their individual sworn statements which they used in their filing of complaints with the National Labor Relations Commission, on their money claims, and with the POEA, on contract violation.

“All of these services were rendered to the distressed OFWs in the convenience of the one-stop shop of Assist W.E.L.L.,” said Baldoz.

She said that the string of recent global developments which poses political, health, and economic security threats and emergencies that could impact on the employment of OFWs has impelled the DOLE to establish the Assist W.E.L.L. Program and the one-stop shop Assist W.E.L.L. Processing Centers.

“We envision the Assist W.E.L.L. Program as a long-term strategy to address the reintegration challenge,” she said, adding:

“The Assist W.E.L.L. Program is tailored-fit for the bad times and good times, for the return of our OFWs whatever the reason, be it on account of their retirement from their overseas venture, short vacation, or emergency or crisis. We see this as our contribution to reverse migration.”

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