Bello tells OFWs: Be entrepreneurs

Aileen Cerrudo
Filipino household workers who were repatriated from Kuwait arrive at Manila’s international airport, Philippines, 21 February 2018. According to media reports, Cebu Pacific (CEB) airlines provided airlift support for at least 396 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who were repatriated from Kuwait.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III has advised seafarers and other Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) to go back to the Philippines and start their own business.

This was his message during the 2019 NRCO-ISP Business Plan Competition on November 8. The competition is an annual search for the best business proposals among seafarers.

In his message read by Undersecretary Renato Ebarle, Bello assured seafarers that the government, together with the private sector and non-government organizations, is always ready to help OFWs towards productive reintegration.

The competition aims to provide start-up capital, training, and mentoring for the winners and their proposed businesses.

Seafarer Gary Esguerra was hailed as this year’s winner for his “green” slippers business proposal.

Esguerra aims to replace disposable slippers, commonly provided by hotels and resorts, with ‘greener’ slippers made from abaca residue as soles and by incorporating seeds inside the slippers.

He also said the slippers will decompose easier compared to the regular disposable slippers. Esguerra received P500,000 as start-up capital.

Meanwhile, NRCO OIC-Director Roel Martin announced that a similar business plan competition for land-based OFWs is set to be launched in the first quarter of 2020.—AAC

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