June 17, 2024

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DOT, DMW Balik Bayani sa Turismo Program for OFWs

RECOGNIZING Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) as indispensable contributors to the Philippine economy, the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) on Thursday (Jan. 18) formally launched the Balik Bayani sa Turismo program to boost opportunities for the modern-day heroes and their families. 

The Balik Bayani sa Turismo is a program of the DOT, in partnership with DMW in support of the National Government’s Reintegration Program for OFWs. 

The MOU institutionalizes the commitments of both agencies to creating, instituting and establishing livelihood, entrepreneurship, savings, investments, and financial literacy opportunities for OFWs and their families through various tourism training programs of the DOT and reintegration programs of the DMW, through its National Reintegration Center for Overseas Filipino Workers (NRCO). 

“𝘞𝘦, 𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘋𝘦𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘛𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘮, 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘪𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘸𝘵𝘩 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘴𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘰𝘳 𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘭𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘷𝘦, 𝘦𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘨𝘯𝘪𝘻𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘱𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘮 𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘮𝘦𝘢𝘯𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘧𝘰𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘥𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘬𝘦𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘰𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘮 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘢𝘭𝘸𝘢𝘺𝘴 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘺𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘱 𝘶𝘴 𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘦𝘳, 𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘵𝘦, 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘮𝘰𝘵𝘦 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘍𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘰 𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦, 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘥𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘍𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘰 𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘺, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘰𝘨𝘯𝘪𝘻𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘮’𝘴 𝘦𝘯𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘰𝘶𝘴 𝘳𝘰𝘭𝘦 𝘢𝘴 𝘢𝘯 𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘤 𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘸𝘵𝘩, 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘩𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘺𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘧𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘸 𝘍𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘰𝘴,” said Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco in her address. 

“𝘖𝘶𝘳 𝘗𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘴𝘢𝘪𝘥 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘨𝘢𝘪𝘯, 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘖𝘍𝘞𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘵𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘮 𝘢𝘮𝘣𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘢𝘥𝘰𝘳𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘗𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘱𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴, 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘣𝘺 𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘮𝘰𝘵𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘺, 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘭𝘺, 𝘣𝘺 𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘥𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘥𝘶𝘵𝘺, 𝘢𝘭𝘸𝘢𝘺𝘴 𝘱𝘶𝘵𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘧𝘰𝘰𝘵 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘗𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘱𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴. 𝘙𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘨𝘯𝘪𝘻𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘷𝘢𝘭𝘶𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘣𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘦𝘢𝘴 𝘍𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘰 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘧𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘴, 𝘸𝘦 𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘩𝘢𝘴𝘪𝘻𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘷𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘭 𝘳𝘰𝘭𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘮𝘺, 𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘤𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘪𝘨𝘯𝘪𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘢𝘤𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘪𝘵𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘺’𝘴 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘤 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘰𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘥𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘱𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵,” Secretary Frasco said. 

The Tourism Chief stressed that the DOT’s focus on human capital development is also fueled by the Department’s desire to enhance the overall tourism experience in the country. This, as returning OFWs add so much value across the tourism value chain. 

“𝘈𝘴 𝘸𝘦 𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘧𝘶𝘳𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘦𝘧𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘴, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘋𝘦𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘛𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘮 𝘫𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘋𝘦𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘔𝘪𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘞𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘦𝘳𝘴’ 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘪𝘵𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬 𝘵𝘰𝘨𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘰 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘻𝘦 𝘗𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘔𝘢𝘳𝘤𝘰𝘴, 𝘑𝘳.’𝘴 𝘷𝘪𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯–𝘉𝘢𝘨𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘗𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘴, 𝘭𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘢𝘶𝘵𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯, 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘦 𝘢𝘭𝘸𝘢𝘺𝘴 𝘢𝘪𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘦𝘯𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘗𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘱𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘭 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦, 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘲𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘵𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘮 𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘪𝘤𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘢 𝘩𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘭𝘺 𝘴𝘬𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥-𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘴 𝘵𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘮 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘤𝘦,” she stressed. 

The ceremonial signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was graced by DMW OIC-Secretary Hans Leo J. Cacdac. 

Meanwhile, DOT Undersecretary Shahlimar Hofer Tamano, Assistant Secretary Maria Rica C. Bueno, DMW Undersecretary Patricia Yvonne Caunan, and Assistant Secretary Venecio V. Legaspi served as witnesses. 

“𝘛𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘬 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘵𝘰 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘰𝘧 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘫𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘶𝘴 𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘰𝘥𝘢𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘐 𝘫𝘰𝘪𝘯 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘰𝘱𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘪𝘴𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘯𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘱 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘣𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘯 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘤 𝘰𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘖𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘦𝘢𝘴 𝘍𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘰 𝘞𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘧𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘴 [𝘣𝘺] 𝘧𝘰𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢 𝘫𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘵 𝘦𝘧𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘵 𝘵𝘰𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘥𝘴 𝘥𝘦𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥 𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘮𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘗𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘱𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴,” Secretary Frasco said. 

For his part, DMW OIC-Secretary Cacdac gave his commitment to the DOT for this second partnership with the Department. 

“𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘯𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘱 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘋𝘖𝘛 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘋𝘔𝘞 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘣𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘭, 𝘸𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘦, 𝘵𝘰 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘖𝘍𝘞𝘴. 𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘮 𝘷𝘢𝘭𝘶𝘦 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘪𝘯, 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘢𝘯 𝘢𝘭𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘴𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘴𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘤𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘶𝘱𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘯,” he said. 

“𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘋𝘔𝘞 𝘪𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘪𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘮𝘰𝘵𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘯, 𝘢𝘴 𝘸𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘴𝘦 𝘚𝘦𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘺 [𝘍𝘳𝘢𝘴𝘤𝘰] 𝘵𝘰 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘮𝘰𝘵𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘱𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘯𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘱 𝘢𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵, 𝘣𝘰𝘵𝘩 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘯𝘦𝘢𝘳 𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘮 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘮𝘪𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘰𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘦𝘴 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥𝘸𝘪𝘥𝘦, 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘰𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘭 𝘰𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘦 𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘦𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘤𝘢𝘮𝘱𝘢𝘪𝘨𝘯𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘦𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘵,” he added. 

𝗧𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗢𝗙𝗪𝘀 

The program also aims to strengthen the skills, aptitudes and competencies of OFWs and their families through the various tourism-related training opportunities in culinary tourism, retail business, farm tourism, homestay operations, and tour guiding, among others, and simultaneously allowing them to appreciate the value and instill the culture of tourism. 

According to the DOT, this is also a way of reciprocating the contribution of the modern-day heroes to the country’s local economy by bringing in foreign currencies through their remittances that contribute big time to the country’s economic advancement. 

Further, through the program, OFWs with senior positions and wide experience are also bringing back with them a range of knowledge and experience that can be tapped to be engaged as resource persons or trainers in the industry through the “Teach-It-Forward” Program. 

It likewise aims to provide the returning OFWs with an alternative source of livelihood if they choose to stay in the Philippines to work or venture in tourism-related activities or businesses; equip them with proper information, and skills that will be useful in fulfilling their career in tourism in the country; and tap their skills acquired from many years of experience overseas and transfer it to enhance the skills of the local tourism workers. 

Among the functions of the DMW under the partnership include the endorsement of the list of OFWs and their families to DOT qualified for the training sessions; allow the inclusion of graduates of the DOT training programs for livelihood, educational, entrepreneurial and other existing programs and services and/or financial assistance, subject to compliance with eligibility requirements. 

The DMW is also expected to incorporate the Filipino Brand of Service Excellence (FBSE) module or core concepts in the Pre-Migration Orientation Seminar (PMOS) and other similar pre-deployment training or learning platforms/initiatives. 

Together, both Departments shall jointly designate representatives for a Technical Working Group (TWG) to oversee the tasks, which will likewise include the conduct of strategic planning and regular meetings; monitoring and evaluation of the program; and promotion and strengthening of the implementation and expansion of this program through their offices, local and overseas, in coordination with local government units (LGUs), partner government agencies, and other stakeholders from the private sector. 

The program will formally roll out in May.