151 OFW graduated from computer courses in Riyadh


One hundred fifty-one Filipinos in Riyadh graduated on May 4 from one of two computer courses offered by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
The commencement exercise, which is the 13th since the project started, was held at Liwasang Bonifacio, the multipurpose court of the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The 151 Filipinos were enrolled in the Information Technology (IT) course at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Riyadh (POLO-Riyadh), offered under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)/OWWA’s Tulay Project. The course started last February 3.
Out of the total 151 graduates, 86 successfully finished “Computer Fundamentals,” 42 completed “Digital Media Fundamentals” while 23 mastered Computer Assembly.
Embassy officials led by Philippine Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ezzedin Tago, Labor Attaché Albert Q. Valenciano, and Welfare Officer Romeo C. Pablo feted the graduates and handed them completion certificates in the rites that started at 4:00 p.m.
The training course aims to increase the knowledge and upgrade the skills of the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and at the same time provide them better job opportunities while working in Saudi Arabia. Further, the training course prepares the OFWs to become specialists in IT and to be successful entrepreneurs under the government’s reintegration program when they go back home to the Philippines.
The project also aims to address the primary issue of family disintegration. It is expected that through the project, problems arising from OFWs’ prolonged separation from their families will be greatly minimized and as the project mitigates the social impact of being away from home due to the accessibility and ease of using technology to connect and communicate to loved ones at home.  More than 2,600 in Riyadh have benefitted from the Tulay Project courses since it started in Saudi Arabia.
Dr. Maria Teresa de Guzman, a dentist with the Prince Sultan Humanitarian City, gave a statement on behalf of the graduates.  She related the importance of computer skills in the medical field, and how she now applies what she learned in her presentations and daily work in the hospital.  She thanked DOLE, OWWA, and the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh for this project that benefits Filipinos in the Kingdom.
In his remarks, Ambassador Tago expressed hope that the 151 graduates will continue to find time to continue their computer education and enhance their skills so that they could remain competitive and also find opportunities for reintegration in the Philippine workforce when they return to the Philippines.
“I ask you to continue to work hard at learning more and to use your knowledge for the benefit of our country”, Ambassador Tago said.
Ambassador Tago also reminded the graduates to register for overseas absentee voting (OAV) as soon as possible.
“The volunteer instructors are the lifeline of this project.  Without the instructors and volunteers, the Embassy and OWWA officials in Riyadh would not be able to implement this project,” Ambassador Tago stressed.
At the end of the ceremony, the Computer Society of Filipinos (COMSOFIL) President Leonida Manuel announced that COMSOFIL is granting five scholarships to the graduating batch for advanced courses offered by COMSOFIL.