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Winning OFW families grateful to OWWA for MOFYA, cite BDO for fostering culture of saving

OWWA Administrator Arnaldo "Arnell" Ignacio (far left) confers the 2023 MOFYA to Amir Hawari, a land-based OF from Zamboanga who was joined by his wife Armina and daughter Nizma. Also joining them onstage was Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Officer-in-Charge Hans Cacdac

The winners of the Model OFW Family of the Year Awards (MOFYA) — who won the annual search for the best practices on nurturing their family amid challenges — expressed their gratitude to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) for the honor and to BDO Unibank as well for instilling the value of saving among Overseas Filipino (OF) families.

“BDO has provided us with assistance especially through Kabayan Savings. My mom encouraged me and my younger sibling to open our own account then. It was really a big help because by the time our mother retired from her work abroad, we had enough savings in our account, thanks to BDO,” said Nizma Hawari, the daughter of land-based national winner Amir Hawari from Zamboanga (Region 9).

Amir Hawari’s career overseas spanned over four decades as a purchasing officer at the Saudi Aramco and as stock analyst for inventory at the Qatar Petroleum. A cancer survivor, Hawari said their children’s education was the driving force behind his and his wife Armina’s sacrifices as OFWs. Armina worked as a dialysis nurse at the Hamad Medical Corp. in Qatar.

Because of their hard work, the Hawari family was able to establish numerous business ventures in the Philippines, which are all managed by their six children who are also all college degree holders. 

Amir is also one of the founders and served as a chairman of the Asian Integrated School, the first Filipino-Muslim school established in Doha, Qatar.

“This recognition is not only for me, it also serves as a motivation for all OFWs to further improve their community involvement especially when they retire. There’s no better feeling than the feeling of being loved and recognized by your family, relatives, friends, and fellow kababayans who are also working like you for the sake of their families,” said the Hawari patriarch.

OWWA’s Mr. Ignacio and Mr. Cacdac of DMW bestow the 2023 MOFYA to the family of the late Capt. Jessie Lorenzo, represented by his wife Dr. Amelia Lorenzo, daughter Dr. Jessica and son, Engr. Mark.

Meanwhile, the sea-based winner of this year’s MOFYA, Capt. Jessie Lorenzo from Antique (Region 6), who passed away last year, was represented by his widow, Dr. Amelia Lorenzo, his daughter Dr. Jessica, and son, Engr. Mark.

Daughter Jessica thanked BDO for being the financial partner of choice of her late father. “When my father bought condominium units, it was from the money he saved in BDO. Thank you BDO for the assistance you have given us and to each OF family and community,” daughter Jessica shared. 

Jessica added, “To fellow children of OFs, we should always keep in mind the sacrifices made by our parents and the things they do for our future.”

Upon graduating from the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy, Capt. Lorenzo eventually became the youngest captain in his batch and a naval reservist. Not confining himself to earnings from his seafaring ways, Capt. Lorenzo purchased 28 hectares of land from his first voyage to establish a diverse and sustainable agricultural enterprise.

“We started from scratch. When we got married, he was already chief mate, and I was a dentist. At that time, I was receiving only a certain amount of his allotment for our family. He would take care of our finances. Every time he would disembark, he made sure to make some investments like purchase lands. I never complained because I knew it was all for the sake of our family, especially our two children,” Dr. Lorenzo said. “We are so overwhelmed by this award from OWWA.”


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