Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are among the largest expat workforce in the world and their contributions account for 10% of the Philippines GDP. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, over a million of these OFWs have been displaced and unemployed. The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) responded to the people’s call for help through the DOLE-AKAP (Embrace) initiative which provides a one-time financial assistance of Php10,000 or US$200 for displaced land-based and sea-based OFWs.
Since OWWA partnered with NTT DATA to start their digital transformation journey years ago, hosting their applications in Microsoft Azure, OWWA was able to optimize their existing assets across both on-premises and cloud sources, and migrate key services to cloud.
As proof of the partnership’s success and their timely and immediate response to the plight of the OFWs, NTT DATA Philippines was one of the organizations recently recognized by Microsoft, beating 3,000 entries from 100 countries, with the Community Response Award – a new global award category that recognizes partner organizations providing innovative support or services to customers and the community. This year, the award acknowledges innovative solutions to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through the technology solution provided by NTT DATA using Microsoft Azure, OWWA was able to provide fast, secure, and contactless financial assistance for displaced OFWs due to Covid-19 via the DOLE-AKAP (Embrace) portal.
“The Philippines’ OFWs embody the heart and soul of the nation: resilience and sacrifice. They contribute so much to the Philippines and through this program we are able to support them in return. We are privileged to be of service and empower our modern – day heroes during these challenging times,” said Andres Ortola, Country General Manager, Microsoft Philippines.
“On behalf of Secretary Bello, I’d like to congratulate the OWWA teams and our cloud partner NTT DATA Philippines for this global recognition from Microsoft.” OWWA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac shared. “I’m proud of our stellar IT team led by Rosanna Siray and Joseph John Padilla, and our indispensable administrative units that provided support services to set up real-time electronic application, evaluation, and database systems to support the DOLE-AKAP financial assistance program for our OFWs.”
Pocholo Reyes, CEO of NTT DATA Philippines said, “I am extremely proud of our team, and the partnerships with OWWA and Microsoft that made this possible. We’ve seen and heard how so many of our modern heroes have lost their livelihood due to this global COVID-19 pandemic, so we have been equally inspired to do our part as a technology partner and our commitment to our nation to help OWWA deliver a safe and reliable financial assistance application portal to our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their families as well.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has left an indelible impact in our society today, and we recognize the enormous role of technology in helping us respond and adapt. We are eager to continue collaborating with Microsoft to contribute to the success of our customers especially during these challenging times.”
Within three days of launch, OWWA received 54,000 online applications through the DOLE AKAP portal. Moreover, the OWWA IT personnel was able to configure, deploy the application, and modify updates remotely using DevOps and Azure providing flexibility at an instant with minimal downtime.