Philippine Standard Time:

In its vision to serve as a mechanism in strengthening labor organizations by providing growth and self-development through the Workers’ Organization Development Program (WODP), the Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR) conducts the first Recognition Day for its WODP scholars today (23 May 2013) at the Blas Ople Hall, DOLE Executive Building, Intramuros, Manila.

The event was graced by Undersecretary Rebecca C. Chato of the Labor Relations and Social Dialogue Cluster who congratulated the WODP Scholars and welcomed them as new entrants to the labor force. In her keynote address, she highlighted the importance of the labor organizations and their role to the scholars’ education.

“The WODP scholarship grant is unlike other grants given to students which needs an exam in order to qualify. The grant’s main requirement is that the parent or guardian is a member of a union thus, being a scholar, not only do you need to study hard, a service to the sponsor organization who invested in your education should be made.”

“Let us also hope that one day, one of you scholars would become an active member of a labor organization as the WODP scholarship grant is one mechanism to strengthen unionism by providing accessible information facilities as well as training, educational, technical and livelihood assistance.” She said.

Beneficiaries of the WODP scholarship include the qualified dependents of officers and members of legitimate labor organizations and workers organizations. WODP is governed by DOLE Department Order NO. 26, series of 1995. It is currently undergoing a review for the possibility of expanding its coverage and amount of grants so that more union members can have access.

Six (6) WODP scholars graduated for SY 2012-2013: Marian Kae Meneses (BS Electrical Engineering) sponsored by Indo- Philippine Textile Workers Union – PTGWO; Aaron Vladimir Alcasabas (BS Information Technology) sponsored by Union Filipro Employees-DFA-KMU; Mary David Solomon (BS Hotel and Restaurant Management) sponsored by Dusit Hotel Nikko Supervisors Union – AFWC; Michael Macasias (BS Hotel and Restaurant Management) sponsored by Ateneo de Manila University Employees and Workers Union-AFWC; Gina Salomeo (BS Nursing) sponsored by San juan de Dios Educational Foundation Inc. Employees Union-FFW; and Karen Pascual (BS Transportation Management) sponsored by National Federation of Labor Unions-KMU. They were accompanied by their parents who proudly received their certificates along with representatives of their sponsor organizations.

In their messages of support, President Angelito Calderon of the Alliance of Filipino Workers and Temistocles Dejon Jr. of the All Workers Association of Trade Unions thanked Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, Usec. Chato and OIC-Director Romeo Montefalco, Jr. of the BLR for providing a program that caters to the need of union members to have access to higher levels of education for their beneficiaries.

The event is a milestone for the BLR, the office where the WODP is lodged. With the hope of placing the future of unionism in the hands of these graduates and scholars, the Bureau shall continue to implement the WODP scholarship grant.