DAVAO CITY- The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) - Regional Welfare office XI headed by its Regional Director, Ron Lionel Bartolome awarded a livelihood starter kit to the dependents of three (3) deceased Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in the province of Davao del Sur last July 16, 2020.
The assistance is in line with the Education and Livelihood Assistance Program (ELAP) wherein surviving dependents of deceased OFWs are provided with a livelihood assistance package worth Fifteen Pesos (Php15,000.00). The program aims to provide a livelihood undertaking of their choice to sustain the needs of the surviving family.
One of the beneficiaries of this program is Sergio Tacumba Jr. of Darong, Sta Cruz, Davao del Sur. He is the husband of the late OFW Rheanne Tacumba who worked as a domestic worker in Kuwait. She died last December 27, 2019 due to cardiac arrest. OFW Tacumba left one child with her husband.
As a qualified dependent, Sergio received eight (8) sacks of rice as his preferred project in which he will sell at the store installed in their residence. "I am grateful to OWWA for the livelihood assistance granted to me. This will greatly help us in sustaining the needs of my family, especially now that we are experiencing a pandemic. The income of the rice will be added to the daily income of our store" he said. Their child, Diane Tacumba who is now a Grade VI student is likewise eligible for the scholarship grant under the ELAP. She is entitled of an educational assistance amounting to Php 5,000.00 per school year for her elementary level, Php 8,000.00 for high school and Php 10,000.00 for her college.
Another beneficiary of the program is the family of the late OFW Rosanie Guioguio, a domestic worker in Kuwait for three (3) years. She died of lymphoma on December 29, 2019. She has five (5) children who are now living with her relatives since her husband also died a few years ago.
OWWA granted a livelihood assistance to the late OFW's eldest son, Real Anthony Guioguio, 22 years old. The family is presently residing at Piape, Padada, Davao del Sur where internet connection is quite low. To have an easy access of the internet, Anthony decided to put up a PISO WIFI unit at their residence. This will enable them and their neighbors to have a faster internet connection. Just like a vending machine, a 1.00 peso coin is inserted at the machine to get a user name and a password for the login portal. Wifi rates are as follows: Php 1.00 for 5 minutes, Php 5.00 for 30 minutes, Php 15.00 for 1 hour and 30 minutes, and Php 20.00 for 2 hours.
Through this livelihood undertaking, Anthony and his siblings will be able to earn income which is enough to sustain their daily needs. "My siblings and I sincerely thanked OWWA for giving us this livelihood. This can really help us for our sustenance. Living without our parents is so difficult. As the eldest of the family, it is my responsibility to find sources of income to feed my younger siblings," said Anthony, who targets PHP 6,000.00 per month income of the wifi machine.
Meanwhile, Mary Gen Villmor, 42 years old, wife of deceased OFW Rogelio Villamor, Jr. likewise received 8 sacks of rice worth Php 15,000.00 as her livelihood assistance from OWWA. OFW Rogelio worked as a trailer driver in Saudi Arabia from 2010 to 2018. He died on March 14, 2019 due to end stage renal disease.
Being left with two children, Mary Gen is determined to look for means for them to survive. "The lost of my husband seems to be an end of the world for me, but because of my children, I need to be strong and raise them with proper guidance and support," she said.
According to her, the livelihood starter kit would enable her to start a business that can sustain their daily needs. Aside from her children, she is also the one taking care of her siblings. The rice will be sold at the store in front of their residence in Brgy. Colorado, Digos City. "I decided to engage in rice retailing because there are no available rice retailers in our area. With this undertaking, our neighbors will no longer go to other places to buy their basic goods," she relayed. She likewise extended her gratitude to OWWA for granting her the livelihood assistance. "This will greatly help me to survive. I will try my best to run the business properly for my children and siblings," she ended.
From January 2019 to June 2020, a total of fifty six (56) families in Region XI has already been granted with the livelihood assistance amounting to P840,000.00 under the Education and Livelihood Assistance Program (ELAP) of OWWA. The program provided livelihood opportunities to the surviving dependents of the deceased OFWs to have decent lives despite the loss of one of the members of the family.