2011-2013 OFWC Execon

Overseas Filipino Workers Congress

Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

OFW Congress-Riyadh is a forum of community leaders representing various Filipino organizations. It was primarily formed to advocate for national policy and program to address the issues and concerns of OFWs in general.”

The 2011-2013  (EXECON) Executive Council Member Organizations       


OFWC 21 Executive Council Members


Legal Affairs Health
Engr. Robert Ramos Dr. Carlito Astillero (MD)
Samahan ng Mangagawang Pilipino  Order of the Knights of Rizal
SAMAFIL (Al Babtain Group & Associates)  
Education Emergency Assistance
Ronnie Huertas Mario Ben
Elite International School  Kapatiran sa Gitnang Silangan
Community Relations External Relations
Engr. Resty Sibug Cesar Gervacio
Philippine Society of Mechanical  Royal Guardians International
Engineers – PSME  
Women (Director General) Islamic Affairs
Nilda Ballesteros (RN) Habib Batua
Philippine Nurses Association Federation of Maranao 
 (Ministry of Health) Association in Saudi-FEMAS
Women (Deputy Director General) Government Relations
Alona Efondo Dela Cruz Engr. Boggs Bolor
Al Habib Medical Group Guardians-GMGI
Sports Culture & Arts
Faizal Mercurio Ruperto Civil
Black Python Martial Arts , Inc. Artist League for Culture & Arts
Entertainment & Social Affairs  
Celso M. Ditalo, CPA  
CSM.Com Cooperative  

OFWC Induction Rites (24th of February 2011 at Philippine Embassy-Riyadh) 




Eufemio B. Bantugan, Jr., CPA (Phil); MFP –  1998,  PICPA National Awardee as Outstanding CPA in Overseas Community Service for his active role as Tax Adviser to the Filipino Community in Saudi Arabia

Dr. Carlito L. Astillero (MD)  “Most Outstanding Filipino in Saudi Arabia” award by the Philippine Embassy in 1990, the “Bagong Bayani Award” by President Corazon Aquino in 1992, the “San Lorenzo Ruiz Award as Outstanding OCW” by President Fidel V. Ramos in 1994, and the Special Presidential “Banaag and Sikat Award” also by President Fidel V. Ramos in 1996

Engr. Robert Ramos –  2009 Bagong Bayani (New Hero) awardees in various fields by the Philippine-based Bagong Bayani Foundation, Inc. (BBFI)

Alex Veloso Bello (Accountant) The Most Outstanding OFW 2010 land-based category, Region 8; MOFYA Model OFW Family Award  2010 in Region 8 (Regional level ); MOFYA 2010 National Special Awardee for community  service.

read more about OFW Congress>>>>>>


Who, Where and When?


Last week the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) announced that they are now on its way to accept nominations for representatives of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to their respective governing boards.

The Screening and Selection Committee (SSC) composed of POEA and OWWA officials was created and given the task to screen and select who among the nominees will be given a hand to represent women, land-based and sea-based OFWs in the round table.


NGO’s or Non-government organizations protecting the rights and welfare of OFWs are likewise given the mandate to nominate. (Who are they???).

NGO’s should see to it that their nominees are true bloodied OFW who has the on hand knowledge of what is exactly going on site. Those who witnessed the real situation of the distressed OFWs, more particularly in the Middle East. A nominee who has  experienced  how to fight in the actual arena, a pro-OFW who can truly serve the OFW sector by heart.

The 40 % criterion in terms of the nominee contribution to OFW sector is not enough for the nominee to become a member of the board. Make it, at least 75% man lang po (passing grade).


The  criteria include at least 3 years experienced as an OFW.  What? 3 years lang? Saan  bansa galing? Sa mga maraming inabusong OFW? Katulad ng Contract substitution, maltreatment and abuse? Make it 5 years man lang. How can he protect us if he is not the right man for the job?

OWWA mentioned that the selection process includes, conducting consultation meetings with the women, land-based and sea-based sectors. Where? When? Who are these land and sea-based sectors?

From the beginning, POEA and OWWA never consulted OFWs about who will be the right men and women to the board. The right man who has our say on how our funds will be used and  the right person to have a say in where our money goes.


Well…well..well…part of SSC job is to establish a massive information campaign on the application and selection of nominees. Saan po? Sa diyaryo? Okey, sige wait nalang po kami kung sino na ang uupo. Just remember, OWWA funds are from the pockets of  OFWs. Therefore, Overseas Filipino Workers should be truly represented by legitimate OFW and must be given full rights to be heard in the round table; at least in POEA and OWWA Board man lang tsaka na sa Hall of Congress.

Congratulations! UFWCD..


The United Filipinos Worldwide for Community Development-South Korea Chapter will celebrate  its  4th  Foundation Anniversary with  a special event: UFWCD Search for Ms. Valentines 2011 to be held on February  13, 2011 at 6:30 p.m., Tapdong Catholic Center.
United Filipinos Worldwide for Community Development (UFWCD) is a group of Filipinos worldwide. UFWCD was organized on February 10, 2007 and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Manila, Philippines on March 19, 2007.
The mission and vision of this organization is to serve our less fortunate kababayan as well as addressing social and economic problems in the poorest communities back home.  Since the day it was founded UFWCD is actively involved in humanitarian aid such as providing relief goods and medical assistance to affected areas during disaster and natural calamities in the country.


Just recently, the group donated books and school supplies to less privileged schoolchildren in Luzon area.  UFWCD is headed by Mrs. Fe Gimarino Kim based in South Korea.  UFWCD-KSA (Riyadh and Jeddah) Chapter is also an accredited Filipino community partner of Philippine Embassy in Saudi Arabia.
Congratulations and Happy Founding Day! UFWCDinians!

OF Remittances 2005 – 2010

Overseas Filipinos Worldwide REMITTANCES from 2005 to 2010
Month & Year 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
January        786.60       916.60      1,099.40    1,264.00     1,265.50       1,372.80
February         775.90       865.80      1,085.50    1,258.60     1,320.00       1,413.10
March        892.50    1,032.00      1,304.80    1,427.80     1,471.50       1,553.50
April        895.50       898.50      1,191.50    1,410.20     1,441.70       1,520.20
May        879.00    1,141.60      1,237.10    1,429.80     1,482.20       1,578.90
June        935.40    1,104.40      1,115.80    1,450.80     1,498.70       1,623.60
July        884.60    1,047.90      1,096.60    1,366.80     1,494.00       1,616.80
August        972.90    1,091.40      1,206.90    1,332.00     1,369.10       1,491.90
September        942.40    1,014.00      1,139.80    1,332.90     1,446.90       1,565.50
October        867.20    1,185.70      1,388.50    1,424.70     1,531.30       1,656.90
November        895.20    1,144.00      1,187.00    1,311.30     1,459.20       1,578.90
December        961.90    1,319.50      1,397.00    1,407.70     1,567.90       1,696.40
    10,689.10  12,761.40    14,449.90  16,416.60   17,348.00     18,668.50
Source: Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas

Dream Big Dreams – A Gadfly’s Wish List

Dream Big Dreams – A Gadfly’s Wish List
By: Romie Cahucom (former OFW in Riyadh)

Dream big dreams; only big dreams have the power to move men’s souls”, the great Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius once said. Before the mania of the New Year season finally ends, I will hasten to add a couple of big dreams or wistful thoughts for the OFW sector.

And so, folks, bear with me for a short moment of wistful thinking. Let us dream of bigger things for this year 2011. Maybe some time this year a stroke of luck may bring us closer to the fulfillment of our desires. Or some of those in a position to act will act for us.

I only have two big dreams or wish list for the OFW sector and this concerns the ideas or line that I am most concerned about: investment literacy.

The first of this wish list is related to the last article I posted which is entitled, “A Gadfly’s Proposed OFW Resolution Calling and Urging Congress to Craft Legislation on OFW Economic Reintegration”. The dream is simply that Congress passes a law creating a specific body tasked with OFW economic reintegration. Or at least, a legislation along this line is crafted in either or both houses of Congress.

I have written about this in the last post and will elaborate on the compelling reasons and the possible structure or set up of this body in future posts. Hence, I will not dwell much about this issue in this post.

Just one last note: the body to be created by the law should be something similar to POEA and OWWA but specific to OFW economic reintegration. We leave the other aspects of reintegration (psychological, redeployment, and so forth) to DOLE. That is their line of expertise.

The second item on the wish list concerns the OFW organizations of which a myriad exists practically everywhere there is deployment – a testament to our gregariousness as a people. There are as many types as there as subsectors or interest groups: sports, social-civic, professional, regional-provincial ethnic and so forth. A small number are business and/or investment-oriented.

All these organizations, once registered with the Philippine Embassy, are officially called Accredited Community Partners or ACPs. At least, that’s what I know in the place where I used to work. Maybe other worksites have different names for the same thing.  read more>>>> 

Note: Romie Cahucom was a  former Senior Relationship Manager of a major Saudi bank, a  former long-time financial analyst and one-time Legislative Officer and  Executive Assistant of a  Senator. He finished Business Management from the University of the Philippines. He is at present engaged in financial consulting work.  

Embassy On Wheels (EOW)



Tentative Schedule of Consular Services Missions for 2011 & Appointment System for e-Passport during EOW

Advisory No. 2010-69 dated 29 December 2010

The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh announces its schedule for outreach consular services missions, commonly known as the “Embassy on Wheels”, for the year 2011.

While the schedule is tentative, the Embassy will exert its best to stick to the schedule provided that venues are confirmed and approval of the host government are obtained for each outreach consular mission.

Starting January 2011, the Embassy’s consular outreach missions, or the Embassy On Wheels (EOW), will be adopting an appointment system for its passport services to avoid the inconvenience associated with the long queues during the past Embassy On Wheels.

The new appointment system is free of charge and the applicants shall enlist themselves directly through either one of the following ways:

By e-mail: eowappointment@philembassy-riyadh.org This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(indicate the full name, contact number, and the city in Saudi Arabia of applicant/s)

By SMS (text): send a text message to 0540269731 with the following:

EOW(space)full name(space)city in KSA)

Example: EOW Juan Santos Dammam

Family applicants must indicate all the names of its members, otherwise only one slot would be provided to them.

One week before the scheduled EOW, the list of those who would be served during the EOW passport services will be posted on the Embassy website (www.philembassy-riyadh.org).  Those who could not be accommodated for the particular EOW will be automatically listed for the next EOW.

The next EOW is tentatively scheduled on 27-28 January 2011 at the International Philippine School in Al Khobar (IPSA), Al Khobar, Eastern Region. END

SCHEDULES BELOW:                                        

27-28 Jan. Al Khobar
10-11 Feb. Al Jouf
24-25 Feb. Al Khobar
24-25 March Al Khobar
14-15 April Hail
28-29 April Al Khobar
19-20 May Al Khobar
9-10 June Sana’a, Yemen
23-24 June Al Khobar
7-8 July Buraydah
21-22 July Al Khobar
11-12 Aug. Al Khobar
15-16 Sept. Jubail
29-30 Sept. Al Khobar
20-21 Oct. Al Khobar
3-4 Nov. Sana’a, Yemen
17-18 Nov. Al Khobar
8-9 Dec. Al Khobar


Let us know who they are…

I received an invitation letter  from Philippine Embassy Charge D’ Affaires, Honorable Consul General Ezzedin Tago informing the community leaders that Philippine lawmakers particularly members of the Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs of the Philippine House of Congress will be visiting Saudi Arabia on the 8th to 13th of January 2011. It also mentioned that the lawmakers are going to meet two representatives each from various Filipino organizations in Riyadh.

The Visiting Philippine Legislators

The visiting Philippine legislators are Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs Chairman, Rep. Walden Bello, Vice Chair, Rep. Ma. Carmen Zamora-Apsay, Rep. Cresente Paez, and Rep. Emmeline Aglipay.
Like in the past, members of the Philippine Congress used to visit Saudi Arabia either for consultations or to review issues that are affecting the Overseas Filipino Workers and to decide how to resolve them. Upon their return back to their bench in the Hall of Congress they’re armed with ideas, present it to the Committee involved in crafting laws or policies for the good of the OFW sector in general. Therefore, they are important visitors because they are our voice, friends and advocates for the betterment of the Overseas Filipino Workers. So, I post this entry for us to know about them a little.
Rep. Walden Bello is a political analyst and a professor of sociology and public administration at the University of the Philippines Diliman. He became a political activist following the declaration of Martial Law by then-President Ferdinand Marcos.  Bello serves as the second nominee of political party list group Akbayan and chaired the Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs.
Rep. Ma. Carmen Zamora Apsay represent the 1st district of Compostela Valley, Davao. She is in her first term and hold the Vice Chairmanship of the Committee on OFW Affairs.  She is the daughter of former  Compostela Valley 1st district representative Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora who became famous for biking his way to Congress.  She  was a two-termer provincial board member in Compostela and President of the Lady Local Legislators of the Philippines (Four-L) and the National Vice-President for Mindanao of the National Movement of Young Legislators (NMYL).
Rep. Cresente Paez, a second termer in the House of Congress is a sectoral representative of COOP-NATCCO (Cooperative NATTCO Network) whose party-list gathered 944,864 votes in the last election paving their way to have two seats in Congress.  Rep. Paez is the Party President of COOP-NATCCO Party list, the political arm of the cooperative sector. The party is focused on policy and legislative advocacy for comprehensive agrarian reform, rural development, housing reforms, cooperative development and local government autonomy. He graduated Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, major in agricultural engineering, University of Southern Mindanao, Kabacan, Cotabato, (formerly Mindanao Institute of Technology).
Rep. Emmeline Aglipay also in her first term as a sectoral representative of party list group DIWA (Democratic Independent Workers Association). DIWA garnered 239,029 votes in 2010 Philippine election which is  0.8026 % of the national votes allowing them to have one seat in Congress. When the Congress adjourns last month, Rep. Emelline Aglipay was one of those honored for having  perfect attendance or completed 45 session days in the 15th Philippine Congress. But not only that – she is at present the number 8 in the list as prettiest Pinay politician (click the list).  And as member of the Committee on OFW Affairs in Congress, she has the following pending House Bill: HB03193: AN ACT TO EXPEDITE THE PROCESS OF REPATRIATION OF FILIPINO MIGRANT WORKERS, pending with the Committee on OVERSEAS WORKERS AFFAIRS since 2010-09-21.


Joining them is Ms. Ellene Sana, Executive Director of Center for Migrant Advocacy,  a strong advocate of women ‘s issues and she was Akbayan party-list nominee in the 2010 election. She  is currently the Chief of Staff of Rep. Walden Bello in Congress. -end-

Source: Wikipedia, Philippine House of Congress Web site. Minda News, DIWA Website and MindaNews.

PCG-Jeddah Advisory # 2011-001

The Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah on their Advisory # 2011-001  published in their website  Tuesday,  4  January 2011 advises  all Filipino nationals in the Kingdom who wish to avail of the Saudi government’s amnesty for overstayers of their umrah, hajj or visitor’s visas, that they would need to do the following in order to fast-track their deportation:

  • Prepare the money needed to purchase a one-way ticket back to the Philippines and SR 120, if without passport or passport has expired; and
  • Approach the Philippine Consulate General – Assistance to Nationals Section for a briefing and issuance of Travel Document, as needed.

The following procedure will be observed:

  • Upon presentation of the original or copy of the passport where the entry number is written, the Philippine Consulate General would obtain the appropriate computer print-out record from the General Directorate for Passports [Jawazat] for Hajj and umrah pilgrims. The print-out is needed in applying for an exit visa. This is done during regular office days.


  • The Filipino overstayer, together with the computer print-out of the record from the Immigration Office for Hajj and Umrah Pilgrims, will proceed to the Finger Printing Office to have his personal details, picture and fingerprint taken.
  • The exit visa is stamped.
  • THE FILIPINO MUST EXIT WITHIN THE VERY SAME SATURDAY. Failure to exit within the day would require redoing the whole process.

Those who have lost the passports that they used when they entered the Kingdom and do not have a copy of the same will be duly assisted by the Philippine Consulate General by making appropriate representations with the Saudi Government regarding their repatriation.

For inquiries, please: (a) write the Philippine Consulate General, P.O. Box 4794, Jeddah 21412 or Uum Al Qurah St., Rehab District, Jeddah, KSA; or (b) fax letter to +966(02)66967697; or (c) email to pc.jeddah@gmail.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ;  or (d) call Vice Consul Lorenzo Rhys G. Jungco, CP No. 0505691801.

For more information, please visit  Philippine Consulate General-Jeddah  web site or click the following link : http://pcgjeddah.org/home/pcg-advisories/394-saudi-guidelines-issued-for-those-who-overstay-their-umrah-hajj-or-visitors-visas-and-seek-deportation

OFCI-Overseas Filipino Council International

Overseas Filipino Council, Int'l.

Overseas Filipino Council International – serving our expatriates by becoming bridge builders, torch bearers, and pledge keepers. Filipino expatriates, whether immigrants or contract workers, are currently estimated at some eight million: close to ten percent of our homeland’s population. But our sheer size – growing at the rate of 3,000 per day in 2005 – has far outpaced our needs. We have become a class – “overseas Filipinos” – but have yet to become a community.


This is the task embraced by OFCI:  serving our expatriates and thereby fashion a true, progressive community.  A community responsive to the genuine needs, interests, and concerns of its members. And, ultimately, those of our homeland.

The bedrock of OFCI – our common purpose – is service. Our expatriates – specifically our contract workers – have time and again been lauded as the “new unsung heroes” of our Republic. The least we can do, by holding hands across the seas, is to facilitate the availability of the tools we require to make ourselves even more well-informed, self-reliant, and valuable to our families, to our host countries, to our expatriate community, and to our homeland by leaving a good legacy for the next generation. Join us. Our task is daunting.  But we’re taking it on. Because we can.  We mean it.  Read more>>>> 

OFCI’s hospitality Room

Several years ago, I was asked to teach Filipino cooking at the US Naval Submarine Base in Bangor, Washington State. My love for cooking did not stop at the Naval Base, I would go to American homes and proudly present our Filipino cuisine.

Anita's Kitchen

In 2005, while organizing the OVERSEAS FILIPINO COUNCIL in California, ANITA’S KITCHEN caricature was sent in through the internet by our President Dindo Generoso, from Australia. I fell in love with the picture, with my signature Hairdo, why not? So ANITA’S KITCHEN became the LOGO and the kitchen came alive VIRTUALLY. OVERSEAS FILIPINO COUNCIL, became OVERSEAS FILIPINO COUNCIL INTERNATIONAL and ANITA’S KITCHEN became the OFCI’s hospitality room. – nitz sese schon

read more about>>>> Anita’s Kitchen

Bagong Bayani Medical Center

MANILA, Philippines—They keep the economy afloat and so deserve a medical facility of their own.  Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her son, Camarines Sur Representative Diosdado Arroyo, have proposed the establishment of a special hospital for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their dependents.


 With many of them sick or ailing when they return to Manila, overseas workers would best be served in a special hospital, they said.

“Many OFWs are in immediate need of medical attention or hospital confinement due to various physical or mental illnesses sustained abroad,” the Arroyos said in House Bill No. 1474.
They proposed to name the facility the Migrant Workers Hospital and leave its control and supervision to the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (Owwa), the government agency overseeing overseas workers’ needs.

The Arroyos said the hospital would complement the package of health services provided by Owwa to OFWs and their dependents.

It would provide comprehensive health care services to workers who are Owwa contributors. Even would-be overseas workers who had secured approved job orders would be served by the hospital.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Posted January 04, 2011 04:41:00
TJ   Burgonio