LINGAYEN – The provincial government has organized and forged a tie-up with the Pangasinan OFW Family Association in Pangasinan for the implementation of community-based anti-illegal recruitment and livelihood program dubbed “Bantay-Barangay, Tulong Hanapbuhay."
The project is a strategic, comprehensive and innovative anti-illegal recruitment, human trafficking and poverty alleviation program of the province which aims to train OFWs and their families to look after their communities against intrusion of illegal recruiters and human traffickers in their barangays.
In his special message during the general meeting of the Pangasinan OFW Federation on August 20 at the Pangasinan PESO multi-purpose hall, Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. said that the “Bantay-Barangay Tulong Hanapbuhay” program is among the projects undertaken by the provincial government in support of the OFW families.
"We are concerned about you, we may not be able to solve all of your problems but rest assured, the province is ready to help,” the provincial chief executive said.
In his brief speech, the governor underscored the importance of human resource in development. He said that OFWs have been great contributor to the economic development of the province.
Towards this end, the governor pledged the province’s support to the OFW family associations affiliated with the Federation and registered at the Department of Labor and Employment to receive an initial assistance of P10,000 from the province to serve as seed fund to enable them to defray expenses for the opening of a bank account, BIR registration, printing of receipts, transportation and other necessary documents.
According to PESO Chief Alex Ferrer, the Province has organized OFW Family Associations in all 44 towns and three cities of the province.
Additional assistance will soon be granted after the associations come up with concrete plans on possible livelihood activities that will help ease their living conditions and propel their communities to progress.
The governor likewise assured the province’s support to all the overseas workers’ families citing some privileges they may avail from the provincial government such as free use of communication system in case they want to connect with OFW relatives.
“I am here to help you, all you have to do is to keep in touch with PESO through its OFW Desk,” the governor assured.
Ferrer said that the province is intensifying its manpower and skills development by going back to basics through agri-based projects.
He disclosed that the governor envisions the project to cascade down to the barangays and employ livelihood projects that will redound to the benefit of every community.
Ferrer said those who will complete the Bantay-Barangay mapping project will also have the opportunity to avail of the BSP-Provincial Credit Surety Fund which provides livelihood assistance to group projects in the community.
The project is in line with the program of the province that every household in Pangasinan must become a production unit. /ADV