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DOLE-OWWA converge OSPC major players to address plight of displaced persons
Fri, May 17, 2013 (Source: OWWA)
ZAMBOANGA CITY—A Special Orientation on the government’s program for Displaced Persons (DPs) and Deportees from Sabah was recently conducted at the Dan Mar Beach Resort in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi spearheaded by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) through the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) in Zampen Region.

The orientation gave all major players of the One-Stop Processing Center (OSPC) for Sabah repatriates, a broader understanding on the Sabah standoff, overall national framework, vis-à-vis agency mandate and roles to better address the needs of the deportees and the DPs in accordance with Administrative Order No. 116, Series of 2005.

OWWA9 Regional Director Hassan Gabra T. Jumdain, head of the OSPC Special Operations in Sulu &Tawi-Tawi said that the orientation aimed to provide a holistic understanding of roles of the duty bearers in meeting a recurring problem like the Sabah displaced persons.

Director Jumdain also noted that per A.O. No. 116, the OSPC should be led by DOLE-ARMM with the support of DOLE-9, working in accordance with the parameters of the agency mandate.

Member-agencies such as the local government unit, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Social Welfare and Development , National Statistics Office, Local Civil Registrar, Philippine Red Cross, National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, Philippine National Police, Task Force 62 and other concerned agencies attended the orientation.

The orientation targeted to fast track assistance to DPs and deportees needing passports and workers assistance.

Regional Governor Mujiv S. Hataman, chairman of the Crisis Management Committee, along with Tawi-Tawi Governor Sadikul A. Sahali of the provincial CMC thanked the Region IX and ARMM agencies for coming up with the orientation and recognized their role in addressing the problem.

In attendance were SharifaPearlsia A. Dans, Assistant Secretary of DILG-ARMM and chair of the CMC-Coordination Center, DOLE-9 Assistant Regional Director Virginia L. Bonbon representing Regional Director Sisinio B. Cano, and DOLE-ARMM Secretary MusliminJann A. Jakilan, who enjoined all the member-agencies to harmonize efforts to provide assistance to our Filipino workers from Sabah.

Also present were Provincial Social Welfare Office representative Ms. Carmen U. Colinares, Naval Task Force Deputy Commander Col. Enrico Ramones, Department of Foreign Affairs Director Ricky Aragon, who came all the way from Manila and explained DFA’s plan to send a seven-member team to Bongao for passport issuance in coordination with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) for transmittal of collections.

An open forum was held tackling the nuances on passport, immigration, travel and certification requirements. Highlighting the activity was the signing of memorandum of agreement by member-agencies and duty-bearers with the commitment to perform their respective duties by extending necessary systematic welfare assistance to the Sabah deportees and DPs at the OSPC in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi.

MARY JANE R. AMARADO
Labor Communications Officer

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