The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration-National Reintegration Center for OFWs Caraga (OWWA-NRCO Caraga) awarded the 2nd Tranche of the Tulong Puso Program grant to Tabon Overseas Filipino Workers Association (TOFWA) amounting to Php 250,000 during the Flag raising ceremony held on February 28, 2022 at the Cultural and Sports Center in Bislig City, in partnership with the Local Government Unit of Bislig City headed by Mayor Florencio C. Garay.

The said livelihood assistance was personally awarded by OWWA-NRCO Director IV Dindi Tan who came all the way from Manila along with Bislig City Mayor Florencio C. Garay, OWWA RWO Caraga Officer-in-Charge Ma. Ireen C. Cambaling, Programs and Services Division Chief Rodel P. Deligero, and OWWA-NRCO Regional Coordinator/LEO III Anne Jane M. Hallasgo.

With a total of 21 members, the Tabon Overseas Filipino Workers Association (TOFWA) is an OFW Family Circle in Bislig City that has been duly recognized by the Department of Labor and Employment. With a project cost of Php500,000, the organization ventured into Poultry Egg Production. The organization received the first tranche of the livelihood grant in the amount of Php100,000 on November 26, 2021, which they utilized to construct the building where they will house the sets of chicken that they will purchase with the funds from the second and last tranche of grant.

Dir. Tan during her message extended her gratitude to Bislig City's local chief executives, led by Mayor Garay, for their continued support of OWWA and NRCO in providing effective interventions to our distressed and displaced Overseas Filipino Workers in the City of Bislig, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. No amount of government intervention, or national government for that matter, will ever succeed without the support of the Local Government Unit. She further stressed that the Tulong Puso program is not a loan, but rather a direct livelihood financial grant that supports the proposed business plan for both start-up and expansion of qualified OFW organizations.

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Following the award, Director Tan and the rest of the central and regional officers and staff went to the TOFWA project site to assess and monitor the progress of the building's construction, commenting that the area is suitable for their business undertaking when all factors relevant to the Egg production business are taken into account.

The TOFWA president, Celestino T. Mundas, Jr., expressed his appreciation to the OWWA-NRCO for approving their proposal and releasing the first and second tranches of livelihood support. He stated that they will do everything possible to maintain and improve the business that they have created, as this will benefit the members individually and as a group, as well as showcase to other OFW organizations that the Tulong Puso program is true and that they, too, can benefit from it if they pursue all of the program's prerequisites.

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Site visit 5The DOLE-OWWA Tulong Puso program is a one-time livelihood financial grant that supports the proposed business plan for both start-up and expansion of the OFW Groups, duly recognized by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The OFW group must have at least eighty (80%) of its members considered as OWWA members and/or their families. The remaining twenty percent (20%) may comprise of undocumented/irregular OFWs and/or their families.

Interested OFWs may contact OWWA CARAGA at 09173150590/09399259895 and NRCO Caraga at 09503057533/09551884858 for further information, or visit the office at Nimfa Tiu, Bldg II, JP Rosales Avenue, Butuan City, or visit the official website at (END/AJMH)