Thousands of OFWs venture into business—Labor dep’t


MANILA, Philippines—From overseas Filipino workers to entrepreneurs.

Many OFWs have started to believe there are better opportunities beyond overseas work as more than 3,700 returning OFWs, including those who were repatriated from troubled countries, have ventured into business in 2012, according to the Department of Labor and Employment.

“We now reap the harvest of the government’s reintegration programs as we recognize and reach out to more returning OFWs who have sought alternative sources of income and increased employability through sustainable livelihood undertakings in their own homeland,” Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said.

Baldoz said the opportunities provided by the government’s Balik Pinay!, Balik Hanapbuhay! Project made it easy for OFWs to decide to stay in the Philippines for good and to no longer seek jobs in foreign lands.

Citing the report of the National Reintegration Center for OFWs, Baldoz said that as of November 2012, the project has provided livelihood and financial assistance worth P38.9 million, which benefited 3,705 individual and group OFW-beneficiaries.

“The number of women OFW-beneficiaries doubled the 1,630 OFW returnees assisted by the project in 2011,” she said, adding that the extensive implementation of the project not only provided means for displaced women OFWs to plan, set up, start and operate a livelihood undertaking, but also equipped beneficiaries with skills that have been highly in demand in the local market.

“This project is a boost to local employability,” Baldoz added.

Among the businesses availed of by OFWs under the project included health and wellness undertaking such as reflexology, massage, home spa, cosmetology, food processing and handicraft.

Apart from the reintegration programs, the NCRO has also provided  re-employment facilitation to 763 displaced OFWs who sought local and/or overseas employment; psycho-social and legal counseling to 5,109 OFWs; and capacity-building through the conduct of Entrepreneurial Development Training and Financial Literacy Orientation to 12,143 OFWs.

“More than helping our OFWs financially, the project helped them move forward in life. It boosted sustainable employment creation and increased productivity that will eventually provide equal and viable opportunities to help, if not, inspire more OFWs that there is, indeed, life after an overseas adventure,” Baldoz said.

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  • jun

    What the OFW’s need is a total package of assistance from the government. Is the assistance is only giving them one-shot loans or short term skill training, that is not enough. I would also like to question the stats provided in this article. It sounds like a government report measuring their performance in terms of people assisted, amount givent, etc. 

    What is needed is a total package. If you go into business: funding, marketing networks, sourcing raw materials, and assistance throughout the start up of the business. I still have to see this type of assistance to our OFW’s. And when you speak of skills training, those Trainers, do they have really the skills to do business? I have seen Trainers teaching about Management of a Business, when they, themselves have not even managed a sari sari store. 

    Let’s have genuine assistance, not cosmetic assistance or “band-aid” assistance only.

  • iping2sison

    The line agencies of the Dept. of Agriculture and the Department of Trade and Industry should be at the forefront in providing trainings to all, not only OFWs. Trainings should be conducted at accessible sites, like the Barangay Hall of each village, rather than in the headquarters/offices of these agencies. In partnership with the Barangay Councils, radio and TV stations, training schedules should be posted and announced in advance. As for myself, I would like to attend a seminar or training on mushroom cultivation.

  • mfdo

    good job .. you forgot the part of the OFWs becoming broke and going abroad, albeit this time to do shady jobs .. simply because those who opened, for example, sari-sari shops, never got their money from their debtors .. i.e. customers who buy on utang .. 

  • Klepto

    “Among the businesses availed of by OFWs under the project included health and wellness undertaking such as reflexology, massage, home spa, cosmetology, food processing and handicraft. ”

    Clearly the best business to put up in the country is related to seks. ie massage parlours, ktv bars, hubo-hubo, drinking bars, at siyempre shabu laboratories.

  • yesyesyo

    Great job!! God speed Balik Pinay Balik Hanapbuhay project!

  • Edward Solilap

    Baka sa OWWA lang naman galing ang government funding na sinasabi nyo madam.

  • Italpino

    I just hope that the OFW’s business venture would really benefit themselves as well as the country by having the products or services good mainly for export and tourism market rather than slugging them out only in the stiff competiton of the local market. I believe, it would be for common good that the government creates cooperatives for similar businesses to avoid individual local competition that would lower the value of the respective services or products, which will later put this new businessmen out of business. It can also assists the marketing of these products and services to other countries by creating proper outlets through foreign economic and diplomatic deals.  

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