Cordillera Administrative Region- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) here has conducted a Regional Consultation for Overseas Filipinos (OFs) and their Families which aim to look into the current and identify various issues affecting the OFs and their families.

The activity was conducted under the International Social Welfare Services for Filipino Nationals (ISWSFN) being implemented by DSWD in coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs and other partner agencies. The ISWSFN led to the creation of the Social Welfare Attaches’ Office (SWATO) that was later renamed into International Social Service Office (ISSO)

The program implemented by ISSO aims to institutionalize the system of providing social service to undocumented, distressed and vulnerable OFs including their families.

“The conduct of Regional Consultation is just one way for us to get the real picture of the status of the Overseas Filipinos and their families. By doing this, we were able to identify the necessary interventions and coordinate with our partners for improved service delivery”, DSWD-CAR Director Janet P. Armas said.

The Regional Consultation also gathered the representatives of the Regional Inter-Agency Committees and other partner agencies that can provide programs and services to the OFs and their families.

Aside from the conduct of the forum, the ISSO services also include the deployment of Social Workers abroad as a Social Welfare Attaches’ (SWAtts) whose important role is to provide psychosocial interventions and other welfare protection service to the Overseas Filipinos.

“Social Welfare Attache’ Perlita Panganiban is one of the social workers who have continuously served the OFs and their families. We are glad that she is our monitor for the Cordillera Region since she is also from our region”, Director Armas added.

Around 45 OFs or their families attended the activity that was conducted on 10 May 2019 in Baguio City. The participants underwent breakout sessions or focused-group discussion facilitated by DSWD social workers to cull-out their experiences as overseas workers. They also went through a gallery walk where they were given a chance to look into and raise questions on the different programs and service that partner agencies and institution are offering.

Some of the OFs were given the opportunity to participate in a Talk Show which aims to share their experiences and give inspiration to other OFs and other participants. After which, representatives from the partner agencies and institutions addressed the queries of the OFs and their families through an open forum.

In 2016, the DSWD-CAR also conducted the Regional Assembly cum Consultation Dialogue with the Overseas Filipinos and their Families with the Implementers and Inter-Agency Committee (IAC). It served as a venue for the OFs and their families to articulate their problems in relation to the program delivery system of the government’s assistance programs.
“We hope that through the activity, we will be able to improve our service delivery to our OFs and their families through the strengthened collaboration that we have with them and our partner agencies”, Director Armas said.

Among the agencies that took part in the activity include the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO), Department of Health (DOH), and the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). #DSWD-CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, Nerizza Faye G. Villanueva

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