The Villar Foundation believes in the courage, heroism and hard work
of overseas Filipino workers and is committed to help, protect and serve
them and their families wherever they are.
The Villar Foundation, through the initiatives of its chairman Senator Manny Villar, has been consistently and untiringly providing assistance to distressed overseas Filipino workers or OFWs throughout the decades.
It is estimated that nearly two million Filipinos leave the country to work overseas each year. This roughly translates to over 4,000 workers being deployed daily. It is unfortunate that many OFWs fall victims to illegal recruiters, are maltreated by their employers, or get entangled in criminal operations.
Through the initiatives of and financial assistance from Senator Manny Villar, the Villar Foundation established the Sagip OFW (Save the OFWs) program in 2008. Since then, there have been at least a thousand OFWs who have been assisted either by being provided airfare to return to the Philippines as well as their return trip to their home provinces, medical aid, burial services assistance, legal aid, and livelihood skills training and business start-up assistance.
When asked why he has chosen to assist OFWs, Senator Villar says, "I started my home-building company by building one house at a time and the very first person who trusted me was the wife of an OFW - Mrs. Magtibay entrusted to me her husband's hard-earned money from being a seaman in exchange for the first house I built, it was the break that got me started. They had to endure being away from each other in order to provide their children a home and education. This is the sacrifice that our OFWs have to make. This is why I feel a strong connection with the Filipinos and Filipinas who have been pushed to work abroad because they feel their opportunities for a better life are better outside their own country."
The stories of some OFWs who were assisted by the Villar Foundation are featured in the book Lakbayani, published in 2010.
(To receive a copy of Lakbayani, please write us and provide your full name, mailing address, and contact number/s.)