Forty five (45) overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and dependents graduated from the first Basic Arabic Literacy Course and 32nd Computer Training Program of POLO-OWWA Tripoli last February 6, 2007, at the Mediterranean Hotel in downtown Tripoli.
The three-month Arabic literacy course is a joint project of POLO-OWWA and the Filipino Muslim Consultative Council (FMCC) of Tripoli.
Labor Attache Nasser Mustafa said the Arabic course is one of the many programs of the POLO which seeks to empower OFWs in Libya in understanding the Arabic language and of having the skills to speak and write it.
Twenty six (26) OFWs and dependents completed the three- month Arabic course with POLO-OWWA Interpreters/Translators Awal Ajanti and Abdulaziz Ating as instructors. The graduates learned the Arabic alphabet, daily conversational exchanges in Arabic, important vocabulary and the skill in writing Arabic.
In the computer course, nineteen (19) OFW participants completed the course in Microsoft XP applications in MS Word, Excel and Powerpoint presentation under the tutorship of IT Trainor Ike Masucal.
Guest of honor, His Excellency, Ambassador Bayani V. Mangibin commended the graduates as they have equipped themselves with new skills and proficiency that would make them very competitive in the labor market in Libya.
He said having acquired the new skills, the graduates would register well with the host government and would be counted upon to help in their growing economy. The good Ambassador was co-relating the event with the new count and registration of the labor department of Libya.
During the affair, Labor Attaché Mustafa explained two new important developments which would affect OFWs. First was the policy on household service workers or domestic helpers (DH). Mustafa said the government, through the DOLE, has raised the salary range of DH from US$200 to US$400 a month while the age bracket has been lowered to 23 years of age. The workers would also be required to undergo competency certification prior to deployment, he added.
The other new development the Labor Attaché lengthily dwelt on is the new count and registration program of Libya. Under the new program, all foreign workers illegally staying in the Great Jamahariya are being asked to leave if they cannot show proof of a valid contract and health certification.
Dependents could work legally if they could secure the necessary permission to work from the Labor Ministry. Mustafa assured the concerned OFWs that those who would avail of the program would be given assistance by POLO for the hassle-free exit from Libya or for the regularization of their status.
Aside from the Ambassador, attendees to the graduation ceremonies were Consul General Sahid S. Glang and Madame Mercedita Glang, FMCC Chairman Sammy Ayaon and members, Embassy officers and staff, Filipino students of the Islamic Call College, leaders of different Filipino communities in Tripoli and some foreign guests.
A. Ajanti, WelOf R. Bassig, Congen S. Glang, the writer, J. de Leon, Amb. B. Mangibin, LabAtt. N. Mustafa & A. Ating