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PH government to launch assistance package for OFWs

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The Philippines’ Department of Science and Technology (DOST) announced it is developing a package assistance for the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), who plan to put up a technology-based businesses, and those who might need technical assistance.

“We just had a meeting regarding this (assistance) this afternoon, and we came up with three plans,” Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña said.

Dela Peña said the DOST will create and disseminate brochures to the OFWs. These brochures will contain the DOST’s services that they can avail of in case they want to put up a business, or if they want a retraining.

“We will provide them with orientation, depending on their decision if they would like to put up a technology-based enterprise. We will brief them first, then there might be a need to tour some of them in our facilities,” Dela Peña said.

The DOST will offer OFWs technical assistance and training related to agricultural enterprise and manufacturing.

Dela Peña said the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), a DOST-attached agency, could help OFWs on businesses related to livestock and aquaculture.

Another DOST-attached agency, the Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI), can also help in food processing and other manufacturing technologies, he added.

“PCIEERD (Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development) also offers assistance to start-ups. For returning OFWs, meanwhile, who already have a business here might apply for the SETUP (Small Enterprises Technology Upgrading Program),” he added.

SETUP is DOST’s program to assist the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), helping them improve their productivity and competitiveness by providing them a loan that is payable in three years.

Interested parties must be at least three years in the business before they can apply for the SETUP program.

Dela Peña said the DOST also plans to put up OFW desks to help OFW professionals or groups market their products or services.

“There are OFWs and OFW groups working in science and engineering. We will help them market their services, and provide them with technical assistance they need,” Dela Peña said.

Dela Peña said the deadline for program planning is scheduled by the end of August.

(Photo credit: Department of Foreign Affairs – Office of Public Diplomacy)

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