Home PHL News No need for confidential funds – OWWA

No need for confidential funds – OWWA


The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) announced on Tuesday (Sept. 12) that it does not see the need for its own confidential funds, given that it already has sufficient funds, announced at ABS-CBN News report.

In fact, the bigger concern lies in the underutilization of these funds, particularly in the case of the Emergency and Repatriation Funds (ERF).

The allocation for OWWA’s ERF for the year is P9.8 billion, but as of September, over 90 percent of this amount, or P9.2 billion, remains unused.

OWWA Administrator Arnell Ignacio said these funds are specifically designated for expenses related to repatriation, such as transportation, meals, and accommodations.
Although the funds were heavily utilized during the pandemic, presently there is not much need for them despite repatriation efforts from countries like Turkey and Sudan.

“Hopefully, tutal naman even the senators agree with us na gamitin niyo na kumbaga technicality lang ang nagiging hadlang…We have to deliver as much as we can, bring our services to our OFWs tutal may pondo naman dito at may kakayanan naman ang OWWA i-address ang kanilang pangangailangan ang hinihingi na lang namin bigyan mo kami ng pahintulot,” Ignacio said.

In the first six months of the year, OWWA facilitated the repatriation of 61,000 OFWs and provided financial assistance totaling P1.8 million from the ERF.

A lot of these OFWs were from Sudan, Turkey, and Russia. However, Ignacio states that the remaining ERF can also be utilized to help establish shelters for OFWs, as many existing facilities are already overcrowded.

Presently, the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) is responsible for this task.

“DMW is building its house and ang maitutulong ng OWWA sa kanya kasi kami buong buo na kami eh, yung system namin is working, we have the members na-establish na, mayroon nga kaming 17 offices all over the country plus all the satellite offices we have 34 offices all over the world so eto umaandar na ito. So yung mga ganyang bagay madali sana naming ma-address,” Ignacio explained.

Aside from this, OWWA is presently focused on the digitalization of its services, a project worth P177 million in collaboration with the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT).

Additionally, OWWA has expanded its scholarship program for the children of OFWs from 2,500 to 5,000 slots annually.

The organization has also acquired three trucks named “AYOS” trucks, which will be used to provide assistance to OFW families in various parts of the country during calamities.

When asked about the offer or interest in the position of DMW Secretary, which is still vacant following the untimely passing of Secretary Susan Ople, Ignacio responded by saying, “Kung anong sinabi sa yo ng Presidente, it doesn’t matter what you feel or what you think, you just have to do it.” (reported by Marlon Luistro)