In support to the Department of Labor and Employment’s Assist WELL program, 80 vacancies in the field of medical and health sciences, as well as administrative, social welfare, and information technology services, have been allotted by the Department of Health to qualified returning or repatriated Overseas Filipino Workers, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said yesterday.
“The 80 available vacancies for eligible returning Overseas Filipino Workers are spread in four hospitals in Region I (Dagupan City), Region III (Nueva Ecija), Region IV-A (Tagaytay City), and Region V (Legazpi City),” said Baldoz, quoting a report of Bureau of Local Employment Director Dominique R. Tutay.
According to Baldoz, the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital in Legazpi City has the biggest number of allocated vacancies at 55, composed of nine Medical Specialist III, 10 Medical Officer IV, two Medical Specialists II, and 34 Medical Specialist III.
The Department of Health – Treatment and Rehabilitation Center in Region IV-A in Tagaytay City, has 20 job openings, composed of three Medical Specialist II, and one each of the following positions: Attorney III, Computer Maintenance Technologist II, Medical Specialist I, Medical Officer III, Social Welfare Officer I, Social Welfare Assistant, Medical Technologist I, Laboratory Technician II, Radiologic Technologist II, Radiologic Technologist I, Nutritionist-Dietician I, Dormitory Manager, Occupational Therapist II, Occupational Therapist I, Occupational Therapy Technician I, and Warehouseman II.
The DOH Treatment and Rehabilitation Center in Dagupan City has two slots for Occupational Therapist I (SG II).
“The highest Salary Grade in these allocated positions for eligible returning OFWs is Medical Specialist IV at Salary Grade 24, while the lowest is Salary Grade 8 (Step 1) for the position of Social Welfare Assistant, Laboratory Technician II, Occupational Therapy Technician I, and Warehouseman.
Under the 2016 (First Tranche) Salary Standardization Law, Salary Grade 24 (Step 1) has a pay of P56, 610, while Salary Grade 8 (Step I) has a salary of P15,368. Other mandated benefits provided are personal emergency relief allowance of P2,000; clothing/uniform allowance; a year-end bonus equivalent to one-month basic pay; a cash gift, performance bonus based on agency’s performance; a productivity incentive, and other compensations and benefits allowed by law.
“I am grateful to the DOH, under the leadership of Secretary Janette Garin, for the 80 plantilla positions committed to the DOLE for the gainful reintegration of qualified returning or repatriated OFWs under the Assist WELL program. These are quality and decent jobs. Aside from the competitive salaries that the vacancies offer, the eligible returning or repatriated OFWs will also have the valuable chance to serve the community. Being also with their respective families is a priceless opportunity for these OFWs who had borne the social cost of labor migration,” Baldoz said.
The Assist WELL program is a package of reintegration assistance or services offered by DOLE to returning or repatriated OFWs due to end of employment contract, personal or health-related reasons, repatriation due to crisis or emergency system (such as political or security situation, civil unrest and disease outbreak); or due to their decision to stay for good in the country.
The Assist WELL Program is embodied in DOLE D.O. 139-14 S.2014 and had served its purpose during the two political crises in Libya in 2012 and 2014. To further implement its provisions and to institutionalize and ensure its continuity, Secretary Baldoz issued A.O. No. 21 on 8 January 2016 establishing an Assist WELL Processing Center in specified DOLE offices or agencies and providing the guidelines to be observed in the Center’s operation. To date, there are already 24 Assist WELL Centers located in POEA, OWWA, and NRCO Central Offices in NCR, 17 DOLE Regional Offices, and four Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO).
The ‘WELL’ in the Assist WELL Program stands for Welfare, Employment, Livelihood, and Legal services.
The Welfare assistance include airport assistance, temporary shelter (free food and accommodation to OWWA hostel while awaiting onward travel to home provinces,
transport assistance, emergency medical assistance, and stress debriefing or counselling session for those who may have traumatic experiences.
The Employment assistance consists of job placement referral for local or overseas employment, skills training, competency assessment and certification, including the ‘Sa Pinas, Ikaw ang Ma’am/Sir (SPIMS) Program which provides opportunities for OFW LET passers to return, find employment, and practice their professions as teachers in the country.
The Livelihood assistance includes Balik-Pinas, Balik-Hanapbuhay, a one-time availment of non-cash livelihood assistance given to returning OFWs, Balik-Pinay, Balik-Hanap-Buhay, a training cum employment intervention, the Women Reach Program in partnership with Coca-Cola Philippines, which also include the 5by20 Sari-sari Store Training and Access to Resources (STAR) program of Coca-Cola which aims to equip the returning women OFWs, especially, domestic workers and caregivers the right support, such as entrepreneurial training, financial education, and peer monitoring.
The Legal assistance consist of legal advice, conciliation, preparation and filing of complaints, and counseling during preliminary investigation and hearings
From being one of DOLE’s flagship programs on OFW repatriation and reintegration, it is now comprised of other government agencies and has evolved into “Assist WELL Plus” program.
These agencies that now form part of DOLE’s program on providing free and synchronized assistance and services for repatriated migrant workers and returning Filipinos are Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Education, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Interior and Local Government, Commission on Filipinos Overseas, and Philippine Information Agency.