OWWA to revive 'Hatid Saya' program for OFWs

Raffy Cabristante, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 14 2022 04:18 PM | Updated as of Aug 14 2022 05:22 PM

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MANILA — The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) will be reviving the "Hatid Saya" entertainment program for Filipinos working abroad, OWWA Administrator Arnell Ignacio said Sunday. 

"Ibabalik iyan. Ibabalik ang Balik Saya, Hatid Saya," Ignacio told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.

(We will bring it back. Hatid Saya will be back.)

He said that entertaining Overseas Filipinos Workers (OFW) will be one of the OWWA's initiatives under his watch, aside from providing assistance to workers and their families.

Ignacio, who comes from the entertainment industry, made the announcement just days after he was named the new OWWA administrator by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Hatid Saya was first launched in the 1980s as a musical tour that featured Filipino performers, entertainers and singers, travelling to select cities abroad where there were a significant number of OFWs.

The program was conceived to help ease OFWs' homesickness and culture shock, especially for those who had just migrated abroad for their new jobs.

Meanwhile, Ignacio assured OFWs that his office is on top of their concerns, as long as they are communicated through the right channels.

OWWA's welfare officers in Saudi Arabia, for instance, have to cater to concerns of 2 million OFWs working there, Ignacio said.

"Ang hinihiling ko lang, madalas maraming mga humihiling ng tulong. Pero sa haba ng salaysay, walang pangalan, walang bansa. Actually kahit huwag n'yo na hong isalaysay iyong inyo pong karanasan, kasi hindi naman ako ang magpo-proseso eh," he said.

(I noticed that there are many who send their concerns, telling their stories, but do not even put in their names or the countries where they are based. It's fine if you don't tell us your entire story.)

"Pangalan, mobile number, at kung nasaan ka. Kung hangga't kaya mong sabihin kung anong area sumasakop sa iyo... tatawag lang tayo doon sa ating welfare officers," he added.

(Your name, mobile number, and the country where you're based are all that matters. If possible, please also highlight your exact area so that our welfare officers can attend to you.)