CEBU

DTI-Central Visayas’s agri-biz program for OFWs set for rollout

TO ENCOURAGE repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to venture into agriculture, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 7 will launch the regional rollout of Agri-Negosyo Para sa OFWs on Tuesday, April 27, 2021.

Agri-Negosyo Para sa OFWs is a one-stop shop of information for everyone interested, offering a menu of agriculture and agribusiness-related programs and services from starting an agribusiness, investment opportunities, crafting business plans and studies, access to financing programs, trainings, available technology, rebuilding network and linkages in all stages of the agriculture value chain of the various agencies all under one roof.

The Agri-Negosyo Para sa OFWs will provide OFWs with convenient access to the efficient delivery of programs and services of government.

This is in collaboration with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa), Department of Science and Technology, Cooperative Development Authority and Department of Agriculture.

The DTI 7 said it targets 500 beneficiaries, including OFWs.

Displaced OFWs Dole, in an earlier statement, said the government has repatriated more than half a million overseas Filipino workers since the Covid-19 pandemic erupted in 2020.

In a report to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Owwa head Hans Leo Cacdac said 502,581 OFW repatriates have been safely transported back to their home provinces after undergoing Covid tests and quarantine protocols in various hotels.

The latest batch of repatriates consisted of 1,471 OFWs who were sent home on April 3, 2021.

A separate report of Dole’s International Labor Affairs Bureau (Ilab) showed there are 645,071 OFWs affected by the pandemic, 627,576 of whom were displaced.

Ilab director Alice Visperas said 49,698 of those displaced OFWs had requested for repatriation while 75,297 opted to stay on site.

Ilab records also indicated an increasing number of OFWs infected with the disease.

As of April 4, Ilab recorded 17,495 confirmed Covid cases among OFWs based on reports submitted by 40 Philippine overseas labor offices in various parts of the world. Of this figure, 10,155 recovered while 938 died.

Bello said the government continues to provide assistance to displaced and affected OFWs.

“Our government will not renege on its commitment to provide the needed assistance to our OFWs. We will continue to assist them for as long as it takes,” Bello said.

So far, Dole’s Akap assistance has extended P5.043 billion to 97,122 OFWs, he said. Akap is a one-time cash assistance of $200 or P10,000 for each qualified affected/displaced OFW. (JOB)


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