Former OFW in Kuwait takes oath of office as member of OWWA Board of Trustees

Former Overseas Filipino Worker in Kuwait and staff at the Ministry of Health Dr. Chie Umandap took an oath of office as member of trustees under the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) under the President Duterte government. Dr. Umandap along with another new set of officials was present at the Malacanang Palace for the oath-taking ceremony on Monday morning.

In a brief phone interview with Dr. Umandap, he told The Times Kuwait that he feels honored for having topped the list of nominees for Sectoral Representatives to the Board of Trustees of OWWA and that he has formed a group OFW Advisory Council namely; Lito B. Soriano, Marcia Gonzalez-Sadicon, Maxxie Santiago, Emmanuel Geslani, Atty. Marlon Valderama, Francis Oca, Francis Naval, Gemma Sotto and Former Under Secretary Rafael Seguis to help in the review of proposals and resolutions.

Dr. Umandap is currently a columnist of Bantay OFW with Saksi Ngayon Newspaper. He also designed his own Bantay OFW Mobile App for monitoring the OFW applications. He also has the following list of accolades to his name: the 2011 Bagong Bayani Pilipino Awards for Community and Social Services, presented by H.E. Benigno S. Aquino at Malacanang Palace, 2018 Commission on Filipinos Banaag Award nominee, 2012 Gawad Geny Lopez  Global Bayaning Pilipino Award for Community and  Social Service,  2009 Outstanding Filipino Community Leader ( Kuwait) presented by H.E. Joseph Ejercito Estrada at State of Kuwait (Award received as Chairman of the Filipino Badminton Committee), and Special Certificate of Gratitude for Outstanding Filipino Community Leaders given by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office and duly signed by Labor Attaché Josephus B. Jimenez during the Labor Day Celebration on May 2009.

In Kuwait, Dr. Umandap took active leadership founding of Advocates & Keepers Organizations of OFW (AKO-OFW) in 2015, Advocates/Volunteers that  aim  to protect the Rights and Welfare of every OFW, Founding Chairperson of Kilusan Kabuhayan at Kabayanihan (KKK), Founding Chairperson of Kilos Kalikasan Project- a beach clean-up campaign in coordination with the Philippine Overseas labor Office, Philippine Embassy, Kuwait Municipality, Ministry of  Health and various Filipino organizations. In addition to the Founding Chairperson of Samahan ng mga Dentista sa Kuwait ( SADEK) (Dentist Association of Kuwait). He was also the Interim Vice Chairman of Council of Leaders of Filipino Communities in Kuwait and during his term organized ‘Pamaskong  Handog Project’ for about 150 stranded OFWs in OWWA Center. He solicited help from different organizations and purchased a truckload of mattresses, blankets, cooking range and cooking utensils. During the turnover ceremonies, he invited a band that rendered entertainment for less fortunate kababayan. Authored the ‘Handog-Tulong sa Kapwa Project’ where each organization was asked to solicit used clothes and canned goods for the typhoon victims in Pampangga.

“I can but pray that we be guided to the right path and formulate essential and beneficial decisions for the welfare, security and well-being of our OFWs around the world and we ask for the support of every Filipino,” stated Dr. Umandap.

Ricky Laxa
Staff Writer