Government eyes more OFW entrepreneurs-A A +A
Sunday, February 10, 2013
THE government asked anew Sunday overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to invest their hard-earned money in the country.
"We are beefing up efforts to reintegrate OFWs so we can harness their experience and expertise in contributing to the country's socioeconomic development," said Arsenio Balisacan, director general of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).
Balisacan said the billions of dollars brought in by OFWs each year will help generate employment and contribute to the growth of micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME), which makes up for over 90 percent of businesses in the Philippines.
The government, through the Commission on Filipino Overseas and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), put up the BALinkBayan (“Business Advisory Link para sa Bayan”) website to help OFWs set up businesses and investments in the Philippines.
The website provides a link to DTI’s One-Town-One-Product (Otop) program, as well as other community-level convergence programs of the Departments of Agriculture, Agrarian Reform, and Environment and Natural Resources.
Government data show that as of June 2012, a total of 19,403 participants were trained in weaving, bamboo processing, making handmade papers, branding, management and values formation to increase their productivity and access to credit and markets, among others.
In 2011, a total of 2,034 OFWs were also provided training by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa) and the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC) to encourage them to become entrepreneurs.
Since its inception in 2004 until June 2012, the Asenso (Access of Small Enterprises to Sound Lending Opportunities) program has released a total of P254 billion worth of financial assistance.
The assistance is equivalent to 251,920 accounts with 3,649,428 jobs created.
On the other hand, the Rural Micro Enterprise Promotion Program (RuMEPP) helped 44,061 microenterprises regarding microfinancing while 22,073 were provided business development services, including capacity building, product development and market linkages, among others. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)