For the first time since the yearly Asia CEO Awards Night started in 2010, one award will recognize a company’s contribution to the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). Called the I-Remit Heart for OFWs Company of the Year, the category is open for nominations until 28 September 2015.
The new award looks for a company—whether a stock or nonstock institution or nongovernmental organization (NGO)—that has significantly helped Filipino families cope with the social costs when one household member leaves to work abroad. These costs may be in terms of the psychological impact of parents’ absence on children and their schooling or the effect of prolonged separation on couples’ relationships, among others.
“We acknowledge that in exchange for the higher salaries abroad, OFWs have to often deal with emotional, family-related issues,” said Bansan Choa, Chairman and CEO of I-Remit Inc., the company that is sponsoring the award.
While government agencies and embassies have it in their mandate to look after the welfare of overseas workers, some private institutions volunteer to do so as part of their corporate social responsibility or charity work.
Even NGOs whose main mission is on other areas but have projects for OFWs and their families on the side may be nominated. Thus, one of the award’s judging criteria pertains to volunteerism. According to the Asia CEO website, “the initiatives or projects should promote the concept of volunteerism to its workforce such that employees are encouraged to contribute their talents and skills that can enhance the lives of Filipino overseas foreign workers.”
“The winner can inspire other organizations to do what they think is good for OFWs,” Choa said. “We would want the winner to become a benchmark that other companies can take their cue from.”
The winner will be announced during the Asia CEO Awards Night in November 2015.
As the sponsor of the award, I-Remit—itself an Asia CEO awardee (for innovation) in 2011—walks the talk. It co-sponsors the Huwarang OFW Awards together with CBN Asia, a non-profit, nonstock Christian organization behind The 700 Club television program; and Kabalikat ng Migranteng Pilipino, Inc. (KAMPI), a non-profit organization.
I-Remit has also been providing regular financial literary seminars to Filipinos overseas called Be F.I.T. (or Be Financially Intelligent and Trained) in cooperation with its partner companies and organizations such as Sterling Bank of Asia, Pag-IBIG, Philhealth, SSS, COL Financial Group, Pioneer Life Insurance, Jollibee and The Global Filipino Investors (TGFI). Its other community services include counselling for distressed children of OFWs as well as summer workshops for value-formation, and a pre-school learning center in Caloocan.
The Asia CEO Awards Night is a yearly event that gathers together both Filipino and international business frontrunners to celebrate the accomplishments of leading companies based in the Philippines. It is organized by Chalre Associates.