LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 29, (PNA) -- Ronaldo Olivo, 46, was shopping for gifts at the Pacific Mall Legazpi when he noticed a lot of people at a 96-square-meter fully furnished office space at the third floor of the mall in this city.
He inquired from the people inside the room and the person who answered his query turned out to be Ma. Karina Perida Trayvilla, director of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Bicol.
Trayvilla told him the “One-stop Service Center for OFWs” (OSSCO) has been launched at the mall.
She said on December 16, at 11 a.m., Olivo was able to access the services of the Bureau of Immigration (BI).
“Olivo was the very first OFW to be served by OSSCO when it was launched that day,” Trayvilla noted in a news release Thursday.
She said Olivo, who has been working at Saudi Arabia for the last 10 years, was elated at the existence of such a service for OFWs like him.
Trayvilla quoted Olivo who said the OSSCO is "napakakumportable” (very comfortable) for OFWs like him.
She said OSSCO is the “living proof of government convergence and cohesiveness.”
Trayvilla said this is true not only in terms of the services that could be provided to OFWs by DOLE’s attached agencies but also with all government agencies and political subdivisions in Bicol.
She said OFWs can expect to experience a more accessible and relatively “faster” service in securing needed documents from “at least 18 government agencies” that processes the OFWs’ requirements.
Trayvilla said the OSSCO is serving as an OFW hub to house offices such as the Philippine Overseas Employment AgencY, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Philhealth, PAG-IBIG, National Bureau of Investigation, Social Security System, Philippine Statistics Authority, Professional Regulations Commission, Department of Foreign Affairs, Bureau of Immigration, Maritime Industry Authority, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Commission on Higher Education and the DOLE family of attached agencies.
Trayvilla said DOLE Bicol OSSCO materialized with help from the Legazpi city government, Albay provincial government, AKO Bicol Partylist, second district Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, Pacific Mall Legazpi and the “equal contribution of the OSSCO-RCC member agencies.”
She said the legwork of the DOLE Bicol OSSCO was facilitated by DOLE Provinccial Office Albay Officer-in-charge Ma. Ella E. Verano.
OWWA Bicol’s database showed OSSCO can readily serve the 41,601 documented OFWs from all over the region. Per province the OFWs in Albay are 20,738; Catanduanes-4,076; Sorsogon-10,470; Masbate -6,317; Camarines Sur-34,264; and Camarines Norte-9,531.
Trayvilla said “more accessible and better service,” is the primary motto of OSSCO.
She said OSSCO’s “free” location in one of the busiest shopping mall in Legazpi City is now permanent and more accessible. Mall owners, she added, did not ask for rental fees for use of OSSCO’s office space.
Trayvilla, however, clarified that although OSCO will house government offices that offered frontline services, it will only focus on providing service to OFWs.
“This means that non-OFW clients would still need to go the their main offices and not the OSCO to avail if the needed service.
She clarified that OSCO’s services will only cater to OFWs who need a “one-stop” support from government agencies that process the their requirements.
Trayvilla said they have moved the opening date of OSSCO during December so they could serve vacationing OFWs in Bicol.
"Thank you very much to everyone who helped. Indeed this is a statement that here in Bicol we are solid when it comes to providing our services" she said. (PNA) LAP/GINA V. RODRIGUEZ/EDS