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The Philippine Consulate General in Milan met with Ms. Estrella Mai Dizon-Añonuevo, Executive Director of Atikha Overseas Workers and Communities Initiative Inc. (AOWCII), on 22 September 2016 to discuss the latter’s programs and activities. The meeting was attended by Consul Conrado Demdem Jr., OWWA Officer and Acting Labor Attaché Ms. Jocelyn Hapal, Consular Assistant Ms. Helen Grace Tabora, and Filipino Community leaders from Milan, Torino and Genova.

Consul Demdem and Executive-Director Dizon-Añonuevo acknowledged the enormous contribution of OFWs to the Philippine economy, and agreed that they should utilize their savings more productively by investing them in the Philippines. Executive-Director Dizon-Añonuevo said OFWs could invest in the areas of aqua culture, integrated organic farming, and eco-tourism.

In implementing AOWCII’s various projects, such as leadership training and reintegration counselling, Executive-Director Dizon-Añonuevo said her organization continued to partner with government agencies, including the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Labor and Employment, and Department of Trade and Industry, the different LGUs, and with international bodies like the International Organization for Migration.

AOWCII was instrumental in bringing a number of Philippine legislators to Milan in June 2015 to speak on the role of OFWs in spurring Philippine economic growth at a Global Forum on Remittances and Development side event.

Consul Conrado Demdem, Jr. and Executive Director Estrella Mai Dizon-Añonuevo (4th from right) are joined by other Consulate representatives and FilCom leaders at the meeting held on 22 September 2016.