Officers and staff of the Philippine diplomatic mission in Toronto were on hand at the Juana Tejada Lounge of the AFCM on Bathurst Street to assist caregivers who wanted to renew their expired insurance coverage. The AFCM is housed at the “Our Lady of Assumption” (OLA) Parish on Bathurst Street (north of Eglinton Avenue W) in Toronto.
Jeanette Rosales, Head of the AFCM Caregivers Ministry, said the event is one pro-active move to protect the welfare of caregivers. Rosales said the move is aimed at minimizing, if not totally preventing, another instance where the Filipino Canadian community and various organizations are burdened where to get, or raise funds for expenses in repatriating the body of a deceased caregiver whose membership with OWWA expired.
Leonida Romulo, Philippine Labor Representative in Canada, said a two-year membership renewal costs $31.
The Philippine Labor Representative is also the Collecting Agent of OWWA in Canada.
Romulo said that membership with OWWA for caregivers and all other classes of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) is mandatory before they are allowed to leave the Philippines. However, when an OFW applies to work in Canada from the original country of destination after leaving the Philippines, OWWA membership is no longer mandatory.
OFWs are entitled, among others, to the following benefits with their OWWA membership: insurance and health care benefits; loan guarantee fund; education and training; social services and family welfare assistance ; workers’ assistance and on- site services.
Caregivers and other classes of OFWs may contact the Office of the Philippine Labor Representative at Tel. (416) 975-8252 for OWWA Membership Renewal.
Rosales said other speakers during the seminar held on Sunday, February 1, 2015 were Deputy Consul General Susana Paez, who spoke about services provided by her office; payroll deductions mandated by the government of Canada for caregivers; and services that caregivers may avail of from nongovernmental agencies, such as the Catholic Community Services of York Region.
Meanwhile, Paez reiterated a reminder to OFWs to give themselves and the Consulate General’s office ample time to process renewal of passports. She said it takes about three months for a passport to be renewed, considering that the office sends them back to Manila for processing. (Ace Alvarez for the Caregivers Ministry, AFCM/OLA)