The Philippines has one of the largest diasporas in the world. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, there is an estimated 10 million Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), roughly a tenth of the country’s population, who are working for the promise of higher salaries and sounder opportunities for themselves and for their families. The largest proportion of OFWs is from CALABARZON Region at 20.7% out of the total.
Because of their service and the money that they send, their loved ones here in the Philippines are able to finance their needs. At the same time, they also help the Philippine economy through dollar remittances entering the country. Thus, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) truly are the modern-day heroes, a crucial sector in the country.
The City Government of Cabuyao, through the leadership of Hon. Atty. Rommel A. Gecolea, has given importance to this sector in the City by launching and spearheading local programs which give assistance to its members. The program received the Pusong OFW Award from the Blas Ople Center, and has been commended for providing exceptional service for the overseas workers, including free transportation to and from the airport, database on recruitment agencies, and assistance for distressed workers.
Due to the economic loss brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, international companies and industries have laid off a significant number of employees to cut costs. Nonetheless, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the country is doubtlessly missing its remittance cushion. Beyond the financial assistance that the government has allotted to them, Cabuyao City OFW group has decided to form their own cooperative to secure their welfare and livelihood.
Together with Cabuyao Solo Parents Association and Cabuyao Persons with Disabilities Cooperation, the Cabuyao Overseas Filipino Workers Cooperation has undergone the Pre-Registration Seminar with CDS II in-charge in the area as the resource speaker and Livelihood Development Office facilitated the said activity. With national and local programs, these OFW could ensure promising prospect when they decide to go home in the Province for good.
The Pre-Registration Seminar is a learning and orientation program given to those who wish to establish a cooperative, where basic and fundamental knowledge are discussed. The prospective members get to know what a cooperative is, its purpose for existence and goals, its organizational and management structure, functions and responsibilities of its officers and committees, sources and uses of funds, allocation and distribution of net surplus, differences from other business entities, qualifications and requirements for membership, obligations and responsibilities of members, and their rights and privileges. Most importantly, what benefit it brings to the community as a whole through the shared patronage and responsibilities.
A total of sixty-six (66) prospective cooperative members attended the Pre-Registration Seminar which was held at the Nevalga Farm, Brgy. Sala, Cabuyao City, Laguna. Also present in the activity are Mr. Christian Benedict T. Bueno (Cabuyao City Cooperative and Livelihood Development Officer) and Mr. Michael O. Aranzanso (Bayanihan sa Cabuyao Executive Director) who extended their support to the crucial sectors in the City of Cabuyao. (By: Ms. Ann M. Acoba, CDS II-Laguna)