More than just a holiday off, Labour Day, which is typically celebrated on May 1 in many countries all over the world, highlights the contributions and importance of the working sector, which is essentially the backbone of any society.
And in a country such as the Philippines, which heavily depends on its 2.3 million-strong overseas workers scattered across all parts of the world, this day means more than just another holiday off. It’s a day to remind us all of the hard work and sacrifices of every working Filipino who put their personal comforts behind, in pursuit of a better future for their loved ones and their country, as well.
Groundbreaking of First OFW Hospital to Banner Labour Day Events
In observance of Labour Day in the Philippines, a series of business and job fairs will be simultaneously held in 29 different locations across the country, as shared in a report by the Philippine Information Agency.
Anchored under the theme, ‘Pagpupugay sa Manggagawang Pilipino’ (A Tribute to the Filipino Worker), the event will also feature the much-awaited groundbreaking ceremony of the very first dedicated hospital for overseas Filipino workers (OFW), as promised by President Duterte to the sector.
The good news was revealed by labour secretary Silvestre Bello III in an interview last Monday (April 22). According to the announcement, the OFW hospital will soon rise in San Fernando, Pampanga. The initiative aims to highlight President Duterte’s grateful recognition of the overseas Filipino workers and the Filipino workingmen in general, Bello noted.
With regard to the job and business fair, the Bureau of Local Employment tapped over 1,500 participating employers who will be bringing with them over 200,000 local and overseas jobs in the massive Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan (TNK) and Build Build Build job and business caravans.
The primary site for this event will also be in San Fernando, Pampanga at the Kingsborough International Convention Centre where an initial 130 local and 20 overseas placement agencies will offer vacancies. Most of the available job openings are in the field of construction under the government’s Build Build Build program, while skilled professionals, including English teachers for Thailand, will also be accommodated for overseas placement.
At the event site, there will also be simultaneous learning sessions on topics such as the Philippine Qualifications Framework by the Department of Education; How to Start a Business by the Department of Trade and Industry; and skills demonstration by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, which will also raffle off around 100 training scholarships.
Furthermore, the National Reintegration Centre for OFWs and Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns will conduct a livelihood seminar for interested job seekers, while the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) will hold a Pre-Employment Orientation, whereas representatives from the Pag-IBIG Fund will be providing information on the fund’s benefits.
As per the OFW hospital, the management and construction of facilities will be funded by Overseas Workers Welfare Administration donors, and administered by the Department of Health. The site where the facility will be constructed was provided by the provincial government of Pampanga.
And finally, OWWA will also be awarding livelihood packages worth PHP 20,000 each to 100 OFWs under its Balik Pinas, Balik Hanapbuhay program during the groundbreaking ceremony.