Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY – The Overseas Worker Welfare Administration (OWWA) in this region held yesterday its regional awarding for this year’s Model OFW Family Year Award (MOFYA) where Captain Zosimo Montes and family from Almeria, Biliran and Mrs. Fe Melo and family from Abuyog, Leyte were declared winners for the seabased and landbased categories, respectively.

OWWA 8 Officer-In-Charge Julie Tan said in a pre-interview, “The event is honoring the regional awardees known as stable and solid families and are active and have contribution in society.”

The competition, which started since June 7 this year during the Migrant Workers Day, determined 11 nominations which were carefully screened last Sept. 3. Aside from the winner, the other nominees for seabased category were: Edgar Badayog and family (Palo, Leyte), C/E Miguel Casas and family (Naval, Biliran), Captain Rufino Reyes and family (Tacloban City) and Policarpo Saclolo and family (Naval, Biliran). Other nominees for the landbased category were Mario Festejo and family (Palompon, Leyte), Mrs. Ofelia de los Reyes and family (Almeria, Biliran), Mrs. Anita Revise and family (Naval, Biliran), Mr. Roberto Rangga and family (Sogod, S. Leyte) and Jose Saavedra and family (Maasin City).

The board of Selection Committee was composed of Atty. Forter G. Puguon, search chairperson and DOLE regional director; Julie Tan, Officer-In-Charge of OWWA; Francisco Darang, Banco de Oro Branch Manager; Dominic Pacanan, Globe Telecom Branch Manager; Sister Grace Namucatcat of the Archdiocese of Palo; Rev. Father Herculano Tabada of Sacred Heart Parish and Lino Maceda, MARINA representative, it was learned.

The event was graced by Evengeline Esperas, board member, first district of Leyte who represented Gov. Jericho Petilla; Cristina G. Romualdez, City Councilor; and Rafael Villagonzalo, Banco de Oro Officer.

Julie Montes, wife of Zosimo and member of the seabased category winner said that she did not expect to win. “After all the sacrifices, seclusion and loneliness, lack of money with nobody to help at home especially with the problems of our children, I am glad we are recognized,” she said.

Fe Montes, an OFW from Hongkong and her family being the winner of the landbased category, said in a separate interview, “I am happy because I did not expect that we still can receive something from OWWA. I did not expect to receive the award because I have tried to forget all the sacrifices in Hongkong.”

The winners received P20,000 from Globe Telecom, P5,000 savings account from Banco de Oro, certificate of recognition (so as non-winners) and throphy. They are to represent the region in the national competition on Oct. 16 national screening and Nov. 6 national awarding, if nominated.

The MOFYA search started since 2005. Its previous winners were Paulino Dimpas and family from Tacloban City (2005), Teresito Marques and family from Palompon, Leyte (2006), and Julito Bertulfo and family from Isabel, Leyte (2007) and Josefa Casundo and family from Borongan, E. Samar and Chief Engr. Salvador Esquibel Jr. from Tacloban City for landbased and seabased categories (2008). (REY O. GERENTE, LNU Intern)

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