By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — An Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), whose contract was
terminated in Kuwait in August 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, won
a Lessandra House and Lot, the grand prize during the 10th OFW and
“This is a beautiful Christmas gift. We pray for this,” related
Rodrigo Pido as he thanked Senator Cynthia Villar and her family
members- former Sen. Manny Villar, former DPWH Sec. Mark Villar,
House Deputy Speaker Congw. Camille Villar and Vista Land President
Pido, a resident of Pasig City, described the annual summit as a huge
help our OFWs and their families.
More than 5,000 OFWs coming from different countries all over the
world participated in this year’s summit.
“Thank you po sa inyo, sa pamilya Villar! Maraming Salamat po sa
Villar SIPAG,” repeatedly said a jubilant Pido who noted he was
very much “overwhelmed as he for winning the grand prize from Vista
Due to the global health crisis, the father of four related that his
employer opted to end his contract where he worked as coordinator of
ground equipment in an airport.
The name of Pido was drawn by Sen. Villar who told him that an OFW was
the first buyer of the house being sold by her husband, ex-Sen. Manny.
“Fifty percent of our buyers are OFWs,” she added.
The participants in the summit also got prizes consisting of
appliances, sari-sari store packages, and 2 motorcycles.
Ex- Sec. Villar, who likewise served as congressman of Las Pinas lone
district assured that their family will continuously support our
The former DPWH chief acknowledged the OFWs as the real heroes of our
country. He considered the summit as their family’s “small way” of
helping our OFWs and their families to embark on businesses under the
“We will all recover from this pandemic,” noted the former DPWH
secretary who is seeking a Senate seat in next year’s election.
Congw. Villar said the summit is held annually to pay tribute to our
OFWs, “modern-day heroes.” “You all deserved to reap the fruits of
your hard work; you also deserved to be honored for your sacrifices.”
For his part, ex-Sen. Manny Villar cited the need to continue the OFW
Summit, saying our OFWs are facing more and more challenges nowadays.
“We started this (summit) 10 years ago with the goal of helping our
countrymen who are ut of the country. Ad House Speaker and Senate
President, I saw the many problems of our OFWs,” also said the
Founding chairman of Villar SIPAG.
In her inspirational message, Sen. Villar said this year’s theme
“Masiglang Kabuhayan sa Bagong Panahon” is very timely and relevant as
we are all struggling to go back to our normal lives.
“This year, we really committed to push through with the summit so we
can celebrate a decade of togetherness and new learnings. Puwede naman
pala tayong magsama maski online. Nakakatuwa dahil nararamdaman ko
kung gaano kayo ka-excited sa muling pagtatanghal ng ating OFW
“We brought the best experts from the business sector and also friends
from the government to teach the migrant workers how to handle your
finances, and provide them with information about business and
livelihood opportunities and government reintegration programs for
OFWs,” she further stated.
The 10th summit, Sen. Villar said, comes at a time when overseas
employment is down, and more than a hundred thousand OFWs were
repatriated by the government from January to October of this year.
From the 2 million OFWs deployed in 2019 before the Covid-19, it
dropped to 612,542 from January to October 2021. For the month of
October, only 66,545 OFWs went abroad. (ai/mtvn)
Symbolic key to the grand prize winner in the 10th OFW and Family
Summit. Sen. Cynthia Villar displays the “symbolic key” of the
Lessandra House and Lot won by Rodrigo Pido, an OFW in Kuwait who lost
his job due to Covid-19 pandemic. The Villar siblings- DPWH Sec. Mark
Villar, House Deputy Speaker Congw. Camille Villar and Vista Land
President Paolo Villar (at the background), who all joined the annual
gathering, along with their parents, Sen. Villar and former Senate
Pres. Manny Villar, assured to continue the summit as their way of
paying tribute to our OFWs, the country’s modern-day heroes. Sen.
Villar was assisted by Arnel Ignacio, main host ng event at Susan