BACOLOD CITY – Some 50 displaced overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Negros Occidental have received training and cash aid under the Work-Skills Connect project of non-government organization Voice of the Free (VF).
The provincial government hosted the distribution of financial assistance worth PHP5,000 to each of the beneficiaries in rites held at the Capitol Social Hall here on Thursday.
“To effectively address the problems of migrant workers, a multi-agency approach is needed, given the enormity of the issues affecting them. We still have a long way to go, but we shall not waiver in our efforts to protect our fellow Negrenses, who leave in the hope of finding a better future for their families in lands not their own,” Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said in his message.
He thanked the VF, headed by Lawyer Jocelle Batapa-Sigue as board chair, for its dedication to the betterment of the plight of Negrense migrant workers.
VF is a member of the Provincial Committee on Migration and Development (PCMD).
Marie June Castro, action officer of the Provincial Gender and Development (GAD) Focal Point System and secretary of the PCMD, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that the province is supporting the Work-Skills Connect initiative through the Negros Occidental Language and Information Technology Center (NOLITC).
“As a technical-vocation school, the NOLITC provides online skills training to the beneficiaries,” she said.
Under the Gender Responsive Intervention to Covid-19 and New Normal Project funded through the Provincial GAD Budget, the provincial government is also providing financial assistance to 200 OFWs affected by the pandemic.
Other partners of the VF Foundation in the Work-Skills Connect project include the Arise Foundation, Overseas Filipino Worker Federation of Negros Occidental, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Department of Trade and Industry, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
The community-based project aims to help returning OFWs and displaced workers find decent work in their home province of Negros Occidental, the VF Foundation said on its website.
Developers and agencies offer access to information, skills training, and employment opportunities to workers who will become part of the Work-Skills Connect Community, it added. (PNA)