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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, July 28, 2016
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Govít intensifies programs for OFWs

To ensure the welfare of overseas Filipino workers, as well as those staying in the country, the government is intensifying the implementation of programs that will  teach  Filipinos  how to be more productive.

Since President Rodrigo Duterte believes in the capabilities of Filipinos, particularly those who are working abroad, he would like to provide them with more knowledge, especially in safeguarding their finances, a government press release said.

He is pushing for  mandatory financial education for all migrant families and their communities along with incentives to encourage entrepreneurship among them, it said.

“To help ensure that the hard-earned money of our Overseas Filipinos are put into productive use, a mandatory financial education for all migrant families and their communities shall be pursued along with incentives to encourage entrepreneurship among them,” Duterte said in his State-of-the-Nation Address on Monday.

"I may now also call on Congress to consider drawing up bills consolidating and merging disparate agencies and offices all having to do with Overseas Filipinos to have a department that shall focus on and quickly respond to their problems and concerns. We have to effectively address concomitant needs and problems encountered by our overseas citizens in a timely and simplified manner," the President added.

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, under its National Reintegration Program for OFWs, is offering training on financial literacy, entrepreneurship, or technical skills upgrading or development.

Likewise, Filipinos who already choose to stay in the country can engage in business and avail of the Balik-Pinoy Balik Hanapbuhay (BPBH) entrepreneurship assistance, which come in the form of home-based business starter kit, tools, and jigs, amounting to PHP10,000.

According to the OWWA website, several displaced and distressed OFWs recently underwent an Entrepreneurship Development Training  and Financial Literacy seminar under the BPBH in Butuan City.

One of the participants, OFW Leilani Gonzaga, showed enthusiasm to avail of the livelihood program that will somehow yield additional income to their household.

As a mother of six children and being the lone provider in the family, she sees the program as an opportunity to establish a new beginning following her unsuccessful employment abroad.

For those who would like to avail of the program, an applicant should must present a proof of repatriation such as photocopy of passport, cancelled visa, referral from Philippine Embassy (if available), termination from employer (if job-related), medical certificate (if sickness-related), and trip ticket from country job site to the Philippines.

Availment of the program must be within one year upon return to the country.*PNA

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