The Bagong Bayani Awards (BBA) is a worldwide search for the country’s outstanding and exemplary Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). The awards seek to recognize and pay tribute to our OFWs for their significant efforts in fostering goodwill among peoples of the world, enhancing and promoting the image of the Filipino as a competent, responsible and dignified worker, and for greatly contributing to the socio-economic development of their communities and our country as a whole. The BBA aims at providing proper recognition to deserving nominees, thus setting up examples for others to emulate, and for the country to be proud of.
Any active Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), landbased or seabased that are qualified may be nominated.
Captain Gregorio S. Oca
A man of Vision, Honor and Intergity
Captain Oca was a recognized leader in the shipping and maritime industry. He was Presidential Consultant on Maritime Affairs of the Office of the President from 1999 to 2001. He represented the sea-based sector in the Governing Board of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA); the Board of Trustees of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA); the Board of Trustees of the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP); and the Maritime Training Council (MTC). He was also the president of the Bagong Bayani Foundation, Inc., a private foundation that recognizes the excellence of overseas Filipino workers around the world and the Philippine Maritime Education and Training Foundation, Inc. Because of his many legacies and accomplishments, he had been awarded for his contribution to maritime trade unionism, shipping, and the Philippine society. Captain Oca was awarded the Order of Lakandula with the Rank of Bayani, the highest distinction given by the Philippine government to a civilian on June 23, 2010. He was also conferred the Papal Award Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice in recognition of his support and services to the Church on July 25, 2010.
The life, service, and legacies of Captain Gregorio S. Oca reflect that of a true maritime leader – a champion of Filipino seafarers and maritime workers.
Board of Trustees
Jocelyn T. Sanchez
Deputy Administrator (POEA)
Elizabeth D. Mirabueno
Head, POEA-BBFI Secretariat
Atty. Angeles T. Wong - Garcia
Maria Fe G. Mabini
Sponsors & Partners
- Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
- Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA)
- Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)
- Association For Professionalism In Overseas Employment Inc. (ASPROE)
- Overseas Placement Association Of The Philippines (OPAP)
- Mabuhay Personnel And Management Services, Inc.
- Omanfil International Manpower Development Corp. (OMANFIL)
- International Skill Development, Inc. (ISD)
- Joint Manning Group (JMG)
- Filipino Association For Mariner’s Employment, Inc. (FAME)
- Philippine Association Of Manning Agencies And Ship Managers (PAMAS)
- Society Of Filipino Ship Captains (FILSCAPTS)
BRIEF BACKGROUND OF THE BAGONG BAYANI AWARDS (BBA)
The BBA evolved from the concept of Mr. Ramon Alfonso A. Fuentes of the Fuentes Media Operations based on two of his copyrighted works (Copyright No. PDR-1285, dated March 05, 1975 and Copyright No. PDG-664, dated April 07, 1983).
The BBA project was assigned, transferred and conveyed by Mr. Fuentes at no cost to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration thru then Administrator Patricia A. Sto. Tomas, in a Deed of Assignment on August 31, 1983.
The first BBA was held in 1984 with eleven (11) workers being conferred the accolade including a posthumous award. In 1985, eight (8) winners were conferred the awards from a total of ninety-nine (99) nominations.
The EDSA Revolution and the consequent changes temporarily halted the Awards. In June 1989, the BBA was re-launched by POEA to underscore the emerging form of heroism which could only be attributed to the overseas contract workers’ consistent contribution to the country’s foreign exchange earnings and the efforts in employment generation. No less than the President herself has called the overseas contract worker as the new economic hero.
The concept of the re-launched BBA remained the same. The search covered both landbased and seabased workers with one finished contract within the period 1974 to 1998. The outstanding contribution as a contract worker expressed in terms of accomplishment, feat, exploit, deed, or act of heroism which brought recognition and honor to the Philippines remained as the main criterion.
Perhaps, the major result of the BBA activities was the organization of the Bagong Bayani Foundation, Inc. (BBFI). Although the concept of maximum private sector participation in the annual search was recognized by the POEA as early as 1985, it was not until August 1989 when the organization of the awards was given to the private sector as agreed upon in a meeting among representatives of the private sector and worker groups called for the purpose by the POEA.
The transfer of the BBA to the private sector necessitated the establishment of the Bagong Bayani Foundation Inc. (BBFI).
Since 1989, the BBFI was headed by the late Capt. Gregorio S. Oca as President. Capt. Oca devoted his unselfish time, efforts and resources in promoting the objectives of the Foundation. From 1989 to 2021, through joint public-private efforts, BBFI has conferred 228 awards to landbased and seabased workers. In 2011, a perpetual Capt. Gregorio S. Oca Achievement Award for Outstanding Seafarers was also created.