Thirty-two returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) from the Caraga region are starting technology-based businesses in their provinces with the assistance of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
The 32 OFWs will undergo training under Phase 1 of DOST’s Innovations for Filipinos Working Distantly from the Philippines or iFWD PH program assisted by DOST-Caraga, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration-Caraga (OWWA), and the Department of Trade and Industry-Caraga (DTI).
DOST said it saw the need to assist OFWs who needed to return to the Philippines amidst the pandemic especially those who expressed their interest to settle down permanently in the country and start their own technology-based enterprises.
The iFWD PH program is a nationwide initiative of the DOST that aims to provide alternative livelihood opportunities for repatriated OFWs and their families. Under the program, the OFWs who decided to stay permanently in the Philippines will be assisted so that they can establish their own technology-based enterprises.
The iFWD PH program has two phases:
1. Capacity Building, to provide them with the necessary skills and knowledge in running a technology-based business
2. Innovation Funding for the establishment of an enterprise by providing a portion of the seed capital.
The thirty-two OFWs from Caraga region, who came home to the country within the past three years, already passed the pre-qualification requirements and are set to start with Phase 1 of the program that involves virtual training on business concepts and plans development from May to July this year.
The priority technology-based business sectors that OFWs can engage in include the following: food processing, furniture making, gifts, housewares and decors, agriculture and aquaculture, metals and engineering, and health and pharmaceuticals.
DOST Sec. Fortunato T. de la Peña, during his keynote message, cited OFWs-turned-technopreneur stories from different regions as examples of benefits of using science, technology, and innovation in business and he hoped to witness more success in Caraga under the program.
SEND CHEERS in the comments below to the 32 OFWs starting their technology-based businesses with DOST assistance.
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