By AMES DEAN H. IBARRA
NAGA CITY — Following the 22-point agenda of the Aquino Administration and responding to the call of City Mayor John G. Bongat, OWWA Bicol will open its satellite office in this city on December 15 to cater to the needs of more than 25,000 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their families based in this city and the provinces of Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte.
OWWA Bicol in Legazpi City will field three staff personnel to man the new office Mondays thru Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and provide the whole range of OWWA programs, in time for the peak season of OFW arrivals for the holidays. Naga City has the highest number of OFWs in the Bicol Region.
“We are more than happy to host the OWWA operation. It is our way of recognizing the contributions of the Filipino workers abroad to the development not only of the City of Naga but of the whole Region as well,” Mayor Bongat said.
OWWA Administrator Carmelita S. Dimzon said that she hopes to make the satellite office in the immediate future as a one-stop shop by inviting in PhilHealth, Pag-Ibig and SSS, and make their programs and services accessible to all OFWs and their families.
Particularly for OFWs who are on vacation, they can now secure the Overseas Employment Certificates (OEC) or exit permit at the Naga saellite office, instead of going to OWWA in Legazpi City or to POEA in Manila.
According to OWWA Bicol head, Director Jocelyn Hapal, the satellite office will bring about the following benefits: immediate action on complaints and requests for assistance of OFWs and their families, including monitoring of illegal recruitment and trafficking incidences; increased and faster processing of program availment; faster and less costly processing of OECs and OWWA membership for vacationing OFWs and name hires; continuity and holistic benefit from integrated community and LGU-based support; and more active participation in organized OFW Family Circles/Associations.
The OWWA Naga Satellite Office will be located at the 3rd floor of the Raul S. Roco Library in the Naga City Hall Complex.