Regional Director Grace Ursua of the DOLE Regional Office No. 1 yesterday reported to Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz that the regional office has trained 26 female overseas Filipino workers in La Union on Basic and Advanced Meat Processing in preparation for their self-employment undertakings.


“The regional office of the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO), an agency of the DOLE, conducted the training, in cooperation with the Public Employment Service Office (PESO), under the Balik-Pinay! BalikHanapbuhay! Project.


Conceived by Secretary Baldoz in 2011, Balik-Pinay! BalikHanapbuhay! Project provides returning or distressed female OFWs a package of livelihood services, such as training and starter kits which they can use to start and operate livelihood through self- or wage employment.


Ultima Entrepinoy Forum Center, one of DOLE’s and the NRCO’s training arms, conducted the hands-on training for the 26 female OFWs, who learned how to process meat right at their respective homes and market them easily within their neighborhood.


After the training, Ethel Saliendra, NRCO Regional Coordinator for Region 1, and Charito Dator, La Union PESO Manager, awarded the OFWs their starter kits consisting of steamer, digital weighing scale, sealer, molders, measuring tools, and raw materials.


“Clearly, the presence of an NRCO coordinator in the region assures a frontline delivery of reintegration services to returning and distressed OFWs,” Director Ursua remarked as she lauded the NRCO, La Union PESO and other stakeholders who put the assistance together for the beneficiaries.


“While working abroad may be more economically rewarding, female OFWs bear the brunt of the risks involved, particularly if they work in vulnerable occupation. They also bear the high social costs of migration. Through the DOLE’s reintegration program, they can be mainstreamed into their respective communities and start a promising life here with their families,” Director Ursua said.


Attached to the DOLE, the NRCO is the government agency mandated to lead the implementation of reintegration program for OFWs and their families. The agency caters to all undocumented OFWs, OFW returnees, distressed OFWs and their families a menu of programs and services, comprising of formation of investors and enterprises, creation of enterprises, job referral, business counseling, community organizing, financial literacy seminar, and provision of support services.


The Balik-Pinay Balik Hanap-buhay Project, which falls under creation of enterprises, caters to returning women OFWs and distressed women worker-returnees, particularly household service workers from Arab countries. Like other NRCO programs, the BPBH! is implemented in partnership with the PESOs and other stakeholders.


END/Arly Sta. Ana-Valdez, Ethel Saliendra

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