OPLE CENTER AT 18: NEW NORMAL, RENEWED COMMITMENT

Updated: Aug 27

The 18th Anniversary celebration of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center & Training Institute entitled OPLE CENTER AT 18: NEW NORMAL, RENEWED COMMITMENT was held on August 24 through Zoom and was live

streamed via the Ople Center’s Facebook page.


This virtual celebration was attended by over 150 participants from 66 organizations representing OFWs and their families, advocates, supporters of the Ople Center, and partners from government and the private sector.


Welcome

The virtual celebration, hosted by Mr Luther Calderon (President, KAMPI) started with an Ecumenical Prayer and singing of the Philippine National Anthem.


Mr Calderon welcomed the 66 organizations represented.


Opening remarks

Diana Ople San Jose (Executive Director)

Ms Diana Ople San Jose gave the opening remarks. She thanked everyone for attending the event and paid homage to Sec. Toots Ople and former Ople Center Executive Director and now DMW ASec. Jerome Alcantara, and everyone who has enabled Ople Center to reach 18 years. The new ED also


expressed that the Ople Center’s “commitment to build capacities of stakeholders and sustain innovations in policies and practices that would benefit Filipino migrants and their families remains strong.”




Keynote: New Normal, Renewed Commitment to our OFWs

Mr Jerome Alcantara, Assistant Secretary for Land-based Services of the Department of Migrant Workers gave the keynote address on “New Normal, Renewed Commitment to our OFWs”. He mentioned the DMW’s immediate goals such as:


1. One Repatriation Command Center (Hotline: 1348 / repat@dmw.gov.ph)

2. Digitalization program in cooperation with DICT & Ease of Doing Business for Land-based and Sea-based sectors

3. Bilateral Labor Agreements (BLA) with KSA, Bahrain, and Japan for 2022

4. OFW Children’s Clubs

5. National Reintegration Program

6. Scholarships for children of OWWA members

7. Anti-Illegal Recruitment and Trafficking in Persons Campaign

8. OFW Hospital



He also discussed the measures for enhanced OFW protection such as


• Country-Specific Work Contracts

• Blacklisted Agency/Employers

• Filing of Cases onsite

• Oversight over PRAs + FRAs

• Mandatory orientation video on OFW rights


Ang Pag-IBIG sa New Normal


Ms Nova Pala (Pag-IBIG Fund)

Ang Pag-IBIG sa New Normal was presented by Ms. Nova Kristal P. Pala , Information Officer III and Head of Virtual Office UAE & Kuwait of Pag-IBIG Fund.


She discussed the following programs:

  • Pag-IBIG Regular Savings (MP1)

  • MP2 Savings

  • Pag-IBIG Multi-Purpose Loan

  • Pag-IBIG Housing Loan

  • Pag-IBIG Loyalty Card

  • Virtual Pag-IBIG


Messages and Greetings

Partners, Supporters and Beneficiaries of the Ople Center also sent their greetings. Among them are:


1. Atty. Mary Melanie H Quiño Deputy Administrator for Operations, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration

2. Hon. Risa Hontiveros Senator, Republic of the Philippines

3. Mr Troy Dooley Chief of Mission, International Organization for Migration-Philippines (IOM)

4. Ms Kerstin Grimm Regional Director for Southeast Asia, AWO International

5. Atty. Maria Antoinette Bucasas-Mangrobang Country Manager, ASEAN-ACT Philippines Office

6. Congressman Raymond Mendoza

TUCP Party List

7. Ms Jennifer Sespeñe Case Handler, Department of Migrant Workers

8. Mr Hashim Manticayan President, League of Bangsamoro Organizations

9. Ms Angelita Gamboa Beneficiary of Ople Center Programs, Calatagan OFW Federation

10. Mr Angelo Antonio Pajarito Buendia President, AAB Management Service and Insurance Intermediaries Inc.

11. Mr George T. Tiu President and CEO, Paramount Life and General Insurance Corporation

12. Ms Marivic Doctor President, Health Carousel Philippines


Message from Secretary Susan "Toots" Ople

Department of Migrant Workers Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople, also Founding President of the Ople Center, gave her message. She thanked everyone for their support to the Ople Center and wished that they would show the same to the new officers and staff of Ople Center.


She also reiterated her vow to work for the benefit of migrant workers and their families.


Overview of Future Programs



Mr Noel Padalhin, Deputy Executive Director of the Ople Center gave an overview of future Ople Center programs. These are:


Advocacy on Measures Against Illegal Recruitment and Trafficking in Persons

• Expansion of Anti-Illegal Recruitment and Trafficking in Persons IEC Campaigns

• Measures towards fair and ethical recruitment

• Assistance on effective and sustainable reintegration practices

Enhanced Electronic Handling of Trafficking Cases

• Enhancement and expansion of the Integrated Case Management System

• Technical assistance on online case referrals and case build-up

• Capacity-building of stakeholders

Reintegration Assistance for Trafficked OFWs (RAFT) – version 2.0

• Legal and Psychosocial Service Provision with Partnerships

• Life Skills and Social Preparation

• Enhanced Entrepreneurship and Local Employment Opportunities



Closing Remarks


Ms Estelle Ople Osorio, Corporate Secretary of the Ople Center gave the Closing Remarks. She reminisced about the beginnings of Ople Center and how it grew from a three-staff office to how it is now. She thanked everyone who attended for their continued support.




Event Sponsors

The Ople Center thanks its sponsors. Their generosity helps us continue to be of service to the OFW community.


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