ZAMBOANGA CITY, (PNA) -– The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration has announced the regional winners, both for land-based and sea-based categories, of the 2013 Search for the Model OFW Family Award (MOFYA).
The MOFYA is being conducted annually with the following objectives: to give proper recognition to the outstanding achievements of the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW); re-orient OFW on the sanctity and integrity of the family; inspire OFW families to strive for cohesiveness in the family; uplift the image of OFW families in their respective communities; and; to sustain awareness among OFWs of the importance of the family unit in the attainment of community goals.
This year’s winners are: Dr. Sathari Edding and family, land-based category; and, Tomas Gelvoleo and family, sea-based category. The awarding ceremony was held last Friday.
Each of the winners for the regional competition received P20,000 cash prize and plaque. They will represent the region in the national competition where they will compete against the winners of the other regions in the country.
The national winner in each of the categories will P600,000 cash prize and a trophy.
“We hope these two winners, they will make it in the national competition. Base on our criteria, they are the best,” OWWA Regional Director Hassan Gabra Jumdain said.
Jumdain said the holding of the MOFYA search “is a small way of saying thank you to them” since the OFWs have been really contributing so much to uplift the economy of the country.
Edding said he did not expect that “my little effort to my fellowmen for sending them abroad would end up with this prestigious award.”
“I am not only concerned of my family. I’m also concerned about the plight of my workers,” added Edding, who is involved in direct hiring and an OFW for 26 years in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
He is married to Hja. Jhoaimfa Aquino-Edding and blessed with a child, Gheva Edding-Tiblani, who is now a professional.
Gelvoleo worked as a seaman for 20 years. He is married to Maria Fe Gelvoleo and blessed with four children namely Thomie, Mark, Ariel, and Shemaiah Fe, the youngest who is still studying since all the other three are already professionals.
“It’s a blessing from God that we won. Mahirap maging asawa ng OFW kasi lumaki ang mga anak ko wala ang tatay nila, nakatapos sa pag-aaral yung mga bata wala ang tatay nila,” Maria Fe, the wife, said.
Councilor Melchor Rey Sadain, the guest of honor during the awarding ceremony, has congratulated the winners in this year’s MOFYA search.
“We congratulate the OFW families despite the difficult situation as a member of the family is out of the country they were able to succeed in making family solidarity. Even the head of the family was not around, they were able to raise their children with proper guidance,” Sadain said.
The MOFYA search is now on the 9th year and the regional have already produced three national winners.
This year’s screening committee are Jumdain, Department of Labor and Employment Assistant Regional Director Virginia Bonbon, Land Bank of the Philippine Manager Shirley Macaso, Philippine National Bank Vice-President Teresita Sebastian, and Dr. Orlando Paber, who was national awardee for Outstanding Achievement for Community Service in the 2012 MOFYA search.