Baldoz orders OWWA to review the PDOS and weed out ‘undesirable’ providers

Newly-appointed Overseas Workers Welfare Administration chief Rebecca J. Calzado has an added task: to review the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar and its content and conduct with the end in view of eliminating PDOS providers who are not qualified to offer it.

“I have been receiving persistent complaints that some PDOS providers are allowing private banks, remittance companies, and insurance agencies to eat much time of the PDOS to promote their businesses among OFWs, with less and less time devoted to the substantial–and more important–aspects of what OFWs expect and need to do once they have been deployed to their countries of destination,” said Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday.

Baldoz, who is the Chairperson of the OWWA Board of Trustees, said she wants the OWWA under Administrator Calzado to do a serious review of the PDOS, the module, the contents that we had instructed the OWWA to include, and its over-all conduct.

“I want an evaluation report in a month on how PDOS providers are implementing the OWWA’s PDOS module and how many are living up to the true intent of the PDOS–as frontline learning and information providers for OFWs before they are deployed,” she instructed, adding:

“We would like to see a more improved and responsive PDOS, particularly the quality of instruction and the quality of the people who conduct it.”

The OWWA, she said, should regularly monitor and assess the performance of the PDOS providers, rate them accordingly, and withdraw or cancel the registration or accreditation of those who are allowing the PDOS to be used as some kind of marketing outlet by private businesses.

Baldoz recalled that the OWWA, an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment, had signed a memorandum of agreement with the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) on a project that will evaluate the effectiveness of the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) for overseas Filipino workers.

Baldoz said she now wanted to know the result of the project and expects the OWWA to identify the factors that can enhance the PDOS, institute changes in the program and, thereby, improve further government services to OFWs and their families.

The OWWA-AIM partnership, entitled, “Harnessing the Development of International Migration: A Randomized Evaluation of Enhanced Pre-Departure Orientation Seminars for Migrants from the Philippines,” is a research project that will focus on fostering the development benefits of international migration for Filipinos, including a study on the impact of PDOS for OFWs.

The evaluation study aims to (1) increase OFWs’ financial literacy and (2) improve their monetary and non-monetary well-being abroad and protect them from exploitation.

The project is divided into four phases: (1) design and development of new training modules; (2) implementation of the pilot PDOS modules; (3) data collection and analysis; and (4) dissemination of the results of the study.

The study will involve interviews of 2,000 pairs of OFWs, mostly the relatively-less skilled. They will be divided into two groups, with one group receiving the standard PDOS, and the other group receiving the enhanced PDOS to be developed. The study will be for a period of three years–baseline survey upon the start of the study; follow-up survey after three months, 12 months, and 24 months after departure.

END

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