RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA: The OFW Congress-Riyadh on its 12th years of existence as an advocacy group comprised of various Filipino Community organizations held its Induction Rites at Philippine Embassy in Riyadh last 24 of February 2011.
There was a sense of renewed vigor among the newly elected and appointed officers in their continuing quest advocating national policy and program to address pressing issues and concerns of OFWs in general.
OFW Congress-Riyadh was primarily formed to help ensure that the country’s new heroes dubbed by the Philippine government will be well protected on their rights while working in a foreign land. The group objectives in particular is to spearhead the drafting, lobbying, passage of motions, measures, resolutions and position papers on vital issues affecting the rights, welfare and economic well being of the OFW’s.
The 2011-2013 OFWC 21 Executive Council members affirmed their commitment to their office as they took their oath administered by Philippine Embassy Charge D’ Affaires, Minister Counselor and Consul General Ezzedin H. Tago.
Re-elected OFWC President Alex Veloso Bello expressed his heartfelt and humble gratitude to every participating member organization on their pledged to their continued belief on the implementation of the objectives and programs of the group. He prods the Executive Council member’s enthusiasm in supporting his leadership as he placed and expounded to the members during his brief address, “without your assistance, cooperation and group effort everything would be in vain.”
For the 2011-2013 EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEMBERS: President: Alex Veloso Bello, Executive Vice-President: Engr. Faisal Sarque of Filipino Retirees OFW Movement: VP – Strategic Planning & Good Governance, Abdul Ghafar Dimalotang (Philippine Muslim Overseas Workers Movement): VP – Economic Affairs, Engr. Allan Macabangkit (Shakba International Association): VP – Welfare, Oscar Domingo (Order of the Knights of Rizal): VP – Political Affairs, Dante Pangcoga (Integrated Mindanao Economic Forum): Secretary General, Manuel Amora (Kalipunang Kaakabay ng Mangagawang Pilipino sa Saudi Arabia): Comptroller General, Engr. Bioux Manilum (BISAYA).
The Director General’s are the following: Legal Affairs, Engr. Robert Ramos (Samahan ng Mangagawang Pilipino-SAMAFIL): Health, Dr. Lito Astillero (order of the Knights of Rizal): Education, Ronnie Huertas: Elite International School: Emergency Assistance, Mario Ben (KGS-Migrante), Community Relations, Engr. Resty Sibug (Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers-PSME): External Relations, Cesar Gervacio (Royal Guardians International): Women, Ma. Nilda Ballesteros and Alona Dela Cruz (Philippine Nurses Association): Islamic Affairs, Habib Batua (Federation of Maranao Associations in Saudi): Government Relations, Engr. Boggs Bolor (Guardians-GMGI): Sports, Faizal Mercurio (Black Python Martial Arts Inc.): Entertainment & Social Affairs, Celso M. Ditalo (CSM.Com Cooperative): Culture and Arts, Ruperto Civil (Artist League for Culture & Arts) and Youth, Jim Rosacena (Safari).
Consul General Ezzedin Tago, in his short remarks expressed his gratitude to OFWC in their continued commitment to serve the OFWs and very optimistic that OFWC and the Embassy can work together as partner in pursuing their plans and programs for the betterment of OFWs in general at site and at home.
OFWC during the induction ceremony presented to Consul General Ezzedin Tago the group resolution OFWC011-001 Series of 2011 dated February 24, 2011 addressed to His Excellency Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, III, President of the Republic of the Philippines and Vice President and Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers’ (OFW) Concerns Jejomar C. Binay.
The nine-point recommendations for President Benigno Aquino’s considerations includes the following; a) appointment of two personalities coming from the OFW rank in Saudi Arabia to sit in the POEA and OWWA Board respectively, 2) creation of a pension scheme for OFWs, 3) the government to acquire a more sophisticated device or equipment to detect drug couriers from using our country’s airports as gateway for drug traffickers, 4) to subsidize the operation of an “OFW Community Schools” in Saudi Arabia 5) to re-examine the mandate and the role of Philippine agencies whose authority includes: acceptance and approval of Job Orders from countries where there are rampant contract substitution, maltreatment and abuse, 6) to support the pending bills in Congress for the creation of a medical facility or OFW Hospital named “Bagong Bayani Medical Center”, 7 ) to mitigate the negative impact of the continuing dollar decline on OFW remittances, 8 ) to facilitate the creation of a special body whose task is to craft up policies and comprehensive approach as well as concrete mechanisms for OFW Reintegration Program, and 9) for the President to act within his power to facilitate the release of OFWs still locked up in their cells despite of having been completed the jail terms imposed by the Saudi authorities. – End – (by MAA)