ILOCOS – In a significant move towards improved welfare for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Ilocos regional office has announced its plans to establish a dedicated operations center this year. This initiative marks a significant stride in the organization’s commitment to ensuring round-the-clock support for OFWs and their families. The city of choice for this pioneer project is San Fernando in La Union.
This is a great initiative for OFWs and their families, as they can now avail of OWWA’s services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The operations center will be set up on a regional level similar to the central office, with personnel working in shifts to ensure uninterrupted service even on weekends and holidays.
A Mini Operations Center at the Regional Level
According to Amapola Villar, an Officer at the OWWA, this facility will replicate the operations of their central office but on a regional scale. “Our personnel will work in shifts, ensuring that the center is functional even during weekends and holidays,” Villar said. This 24/7 provision is a testament to OWWA’s steadfast dedication to the well-being of OFWs.
The OWWA plans to assign a special four or five-digit number for the operations center, ensuring smooth and easy access for OFWs. Villar highlighted that this service will be available globally at no cost for both domestic and international calls, reaffirming OWWA’s commitment to accessibility.
In addition to the dedicated number, OWWA is also expanding its communication channels to include popular apps like WhatsApp and Viber. This measure is designed to accommodate the various communication preferences of OFWs and their families. Villar emphasized, “Our clients’ concerns will no longer be restricted to our existing hotline numbers, social media accounts, and email addresses.”
Preparations Underway for the Operations Center
Villar disclosed that they are currently setting up the operations center and recruiting personnel for it. The team will comprise two supervisors and nine customer care personnel, ideally with experience in the call center industry. “We want individuals who are compassionate, as we are a service agency with a heart, and our clients often have urgent needs,” Villar added.
The Ilocos Region is home to a substantial OFW population, with 543,530 registered workers as per OWWA data. The imminent operations center will undoubtedly serve as a critical support system for these individuals as they navigate the challenges of working overseas. By providing easily accessible, round-the-clock support, OWWA is demonstrating its steadfast commitment to the welfare of OFWs and their families.