Photo by Abdul Aziz Kamangon
COTABATO CITY—Ninety-two repatriated and distressed Overseas Bangsamoro Workers (OBWs) from Cotabato City and Special Geographic Area (SGA) have received Php10,000.00 cash assistance each from the Bangsamoro Government on August 15.
The Ministry of Labor on Employment – Overseas Workers’ Welfare Bureau (MOLE-OWWB) introduced a one-time financial aid program for OBWs affected by terminated contracts, unfinished agreements due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and even physical abuse.
Overseas Workers Welfare Officer II, Jasmin Mango, highlighted that the Reintegration Program initiative aligns with the Government of the Day’s goal of promoting opportunities for OBWs.
“Ito’y kabilang sa mga programa na para makatulong sa mga OFWs na mga nakaranas ng mga hindi magaganda or abuses, kabilang ang mga nawalan ng trabaho. At least pagdating nila dito [sa BARMM] ay mayroon silang madadatnan na kaunting tulong from the Bangsamoro Government,” the officer said.
Mango urges the beneficiaries to make the most of the reintegration services and to invest prudently in micro-enterprises for their families.
She additionally mentioned that MOLE is seeking additional funding to accommodate all eligible beneficiaries.
“Ang MOLE ay may 250 na target annually, then as of 2023 may 750 na naging beneficiaries kabilang na ang island provinces,” she shared.
In addition to the financial aid, beneficiaries participated in informative sessions and orientations about MOLE’s Reintegration Program. These sessions covered lectures and advice on initiating small businesses.
Bailyn Asi Taimbe, 48, a beneficiary from Brgy. Bagua 2, shared that health issues prevented her from completing her employment contract. She expressed how the reintegration programs provided valuable assistance to her.
“Hindi madali ang mawalan ng trabaho lalo na’t pag wala kang inaasahang ibang source of income, kaya malaki ang pagpapasalamat namin sa Bangsamoro Government dahil hindi kami pinapabayaan,” Taime expressed.
She mentioned that she intends to utilize the assistance to set up a mini-grocery store and allocate a portion for purchasing school supplies for her children in the upcoming school year.
“Pandagdag ng kapital sa aking kaunting tindahan sa bahay at dahil pasukan na’y ibibili ko ang aking mga anak ng mga kagamitan sa paaralan kaya tamang-tama ang pagdating ng kanilang tulong,” she added.
The Reintegration Program constitutes a segment of BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim’s Enhanced 12-Point Priority Agenda for 2023-2025. This agenda aims to enhance the efficiency and swiftness of social protection services, thereby mitigating vulnerability to economic and social issues. (Johaira Sahidala/BIO)