IN A bid to encourage overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to come back home, the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) is urging them to open their own businesses after undergoing the necessary training programs.

Speaking after signing a partnership agreement with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), DMW Secretary Susan Ople said they are hoping that OFWs will consider becoming entrepreneurs in their home country.

"Our OFWs contribute to our economy through their dollar remittances. But, at some point in their lives, they would also need to come home and create sustainable sources of income through entrepreneurship, sound investments, or by landing a better job here at home," said Ople.

"We want them to come back with excitement in their hearts on what the future holds for them and their families," she added.

Ople said this is where the partnership with the DTI will come into play as OFWs and/or their families would be able to access business training and mentorship programs.

Under the agreement, the government shall also provide assistance in the business registration process for OFWs; inclusion of OFWs and their families in DTI's business training and development programs; and financial literacy training courses for OFWs.

It also states that the OFW products and services shall be included in DTI trade fairs; and help link up OFW companies/products/services with large companies and government agencies to improve market access and promotions.

The partnership provides that the DMW will be the one to identify, evaluate, and submit a list of potential beneficiaries and applicants to existing DTI programs and services.

The DTI, on the other hand, will issue a certificate to OFWs or members of their families, who successfully registered their businesses and underwent entrepreneurship training, as an endorsement of any livelihood or financial assistance to be granted by the DMW to OFW beneficiaries.

A Joint Technical Working Group is set to be created to monitor the implementation of the DMW-DTI agreement. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)