Tacloban City (June 9) — The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration in Region 8 led by Director Juliet Tan, spearheaded this year’s Migrant Workers Day celebration dubbed as “Araw ng Pasasalamat.”
Conducted on June 7 at the Robinsons Place, the whole day Araw ng Pasasalamat which revolved around the theme: “OFWs: Tagumpay sa Hamon ng Panahon, Kaagapay sa Pagsulong,” was highlighted by the awarding of prizes to this year’s Outstanding OFWs of Eastern Visayas.
The outstanding Overseas Filipino Workers Award is divided into two categories namely, the landbased and the seabased migrant workers.
In the landbased category, there were three awardees, OIC Tan said. They are Alex V. Bello, Engracio B. Custodio, and Rafael Tolibas.
Alex V. Bello is an accountant from Imelda Village, Tacloban City who is currently at the jobsite at Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Mr. Bello is the president of the OFW Congress in Riyadh. He initiated the raising of a big amount of money from the OFWs for the Guinsaugon Landslide victims in Southern Leyte through the Secretary of Labor Marianito Roque to OWWA.
Engracio B. Custodio is a plant operator from Sulangan, Guiuan, Eastern Samar, who is now employed at Commonwealth Utilities Corporation in Saipan. He is the founder of the Human Dignity Movement in Saipan which advocates human rights as its main concern. He promoted fair treatment, improvement of status and increase in minimum wage of OFWs, organizing prayer rallies and submission of petitions.
He was given a certificate of appreciation for his skills, professionalism and dedication to his duties to the project that was successfully implemented.
Rafael Tolibas from Barangay Guingauan, Tanauan, Leyte, is the site foreman for Milwright of Consolidated Contractors International Company at Doha Qatar. He was appreciated and recognized by his employer for his dedication and commitment to work.
In the seabased category, this year’s outstanding OFWs are Rafael Apolinar, Francis E. Solvera, and Francis A. Ceballos.
Rafael Apolinar is an oiler from Barangay San Isidro, Palompon, Leyte. He is one of the distinguished company group called worthy Shellbacks. He helped in rescuing employees of a burning oil rig in Conga. His right hand was hit while disentangling the ropes to move out from the burning oil rig.
Francis Solvera, an oiler of the Bright Maritime Corporation’s M/T CM Spirit. This migrant worker from Barangay Cabalawan, Tacloban City is being cited for his bravery ? continuing to serve the foreign ship despite the traumatic experience of being hostaged by a group of pirates in Africa on May 13, 2009.
Francis Ceballos from PC Village, Tacloban City, is reefer repairman of Star Cruise who was cited as the Achiever of the Month by his company in appreciation of his outstanding effort and commitment to the pursuit of excellence.
OWWA 8 through OIC Tan also presented the Physically and Financially Challenged OFW to Olivia Badidles of San Jose, Tacloban City, who while serving as domestic helper in Singapore suffered from a disease called crytogenic liver cirrhosis.
The Most Senior Surviving OFW attendee award was presented to Juanita Llemos of Barangay Sulod, Basey, Samar who at 73 years of age, is a domestic helper in Hongkong. (PIA 8)
PIA Press Release/ 2010/06/09