The Overseas Filipino Workers Family Circle (OFC) of Pasay City prioritizes the issue of educational benefit of OFW dependents more than drug addiction, financial management, and family malfunction. In principle, they exhort that grade requirements be loosened to accommodate more OFW dependents who are yearning to pursue education through scholarship and other educational assistance and to extend the program even to inactive OWWA members.
This is just one of the many inputs culled from a series of consultations/workshops organized by the Regional Welfare Office-National Capital Region of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration this month in preparation for the National Congress of OFWs and their Families slated on June 7, 2011, Migrant Workers Day.
Majority of the OFC Pasay dependents said availing of OWWA’s educational programs and services is at times close to nil chance because of the high grade requirement imposed by the program. In a consensus, they hope their kids can still take courses regardless of the grade so they can further their schooling. In addition to the relaxing of policies on educational programs, they also wish that the program be extended to kins of inactive OWWA members.
“Ang sa amin lang, kung ibibigay ang programa, ibigay. Hindi yung pahirapan pa nang sa gayon ay makapag-aral din ang aming mga anak na hindi gaanong mataas ang grade pero gustong magpatuloy,” says one of the attendees.” (If they sincerely want us to avail of the program, let us have them with fewer hurdles so our kids can still go to school even with low grades).
Aside from education, members of OFC Pasay are equally concerned with the rising number of family and finance management issues, especially the growing number of early marriages and broken homes prevalent in their circle, and admit having ineptness problems in handling money remitted by their OFW loved ones.
Consultations/workshops among OFCs are being held in select areas nationwide to collect data for program development and policy direction of the OFC sector.
OWWA’s multiple educational programs for OFWs and their dependents include the following: Skills for Employment Scholarship for any two-year technical/vocational course, Educational for Development Scholarship Program for four- or five-year baccalaureate courses, OFW Dependents Scholarship Program for poor but deserving qualified OFW dependents, OWWA-Microsoft Tulay for ICT training, Tuloy-Aral for less fortunate children of former OFWs, Tuloy-Kolehiyo, and upgrading trainings for sea-based workers.