An Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), whose contract was terminated in Kuwait in August 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, won a Lessandra House and Lot, the grand prize during the 10th OFW and Family Summit.
“This is a beautiful Christmas gift. We pray for this,” related Rodrigo Pido as he thanked Senator Cynthia Villar and her family members- former Sen. Manny Villar, former DPWH Sec. Mark Villar, House Deputy Speaker Congw. Camille Villar and Vista Land President Paolo Villar.
Pido, a resident of Pasig City, described the annual summit as a huge help to our OFWs and their families.
More than 5,000 OFWs coming from different countries all over the world participated in this year’s summit.
“Thank you po sa inyo, sa pamilya Villar! Maraming Salamat po sa Villar SIPAG,” repeatedly said a a jubilant Pido who noted he was very much “overwhelmed as he for winning the grand prize from Vista Land Holdings.
Due to the global health crisis, the father of four related that his employer opted to end his contract where he worked as coordinator of ground equipment in an airport.
The name of Pido was drawn by Sen. Villar who told him that an OFW was the first buyer of the house being sold by her husband, ex-Sen. Manny. “Fifty percent of our buyers are OFWs,” she added.
The participants in the summit also got prizes consisting of appliances, sari-sari store packages and 2 motorcycles.
Ex- Sec. Villar, who likewise served as congressman of Las Pinas lone district, assured that their family will continuously support our migrant workers.
The former DPWH chief acknowledged the OFWs as the real heroes of our country. He considered the summit as their family’s “small way” of helping our OFWs and their families to embark on businesses under the new normal.
“We will all recover from this pandemic,” noted the former DPWH secretary who is seeking a Senate seat in next year’s election.
Congw. Villar said the summit is held annually to pay tribute to our OFWs, “modern-day heroes.” “You all deserved to reap the fruits of your hard work; you also deserved to be honored for your sacrifices.”
For his part, ex-Sen. Manny Villar cited the need to continue the OFW Summit, saying our OFWs are facing more and more challenges nowadays. “We started this (summit) 10 years ago with the goal of helping our countrymen who are ut of the country. Ad House Speaker and Senate President, I saw the many problems of our OFWs,” also said the Founding chairman of Villar SIPAG.
In her inspirational message, Sen. Villar said this year’s theme “Masiglang Kabuhayan sa Bagong Panahon” is very timely and relevant as we are all struggling to go back to our normal lives.
“This year, we really committed to push through with the summit so we can celebrate a decade of togetherness and new learnings. Puwede naman pala tayong magsama maski online. Nakakatuwa dahil nararamdaman ko kung gaano kayo ka-excited sa muling pagtatanghal ng ating OFW Summit,” related
“We brought the best experts from the business sector and also friends from government to teach the migrant workers how to handle your finances, and provide them with information about business and livelihood opportunities and government reintegration programs for OFWs,” she further stated.
The 10th summit, Sen. Villar said, comes at a time when overseas employment is down, and more than a hundred thousand OFWs were repatriated by government from January to October of this year.
From the 2 million OFWs deployed in 2019 before the Covid-19, it dropped to 612,542 from January to October 2021. For the month of October, only 66,545 OFWs went abroad.