Returning Overseas Filipino Workers should attend the 3rd OFW and Family Summit that will be held at the World Trade Center in Pasay City on November 22. The focus will be on agribusiness projects.
The Summit is under the auspices of the Villar Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance (Villar-SIPAG) and GoNegosyo. The summit aims to help returning OFWs to consider possible projects in agriculture that they can undertake even with little capital.
Sen. Cynthia Villar who is head of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food conceived the workshop’s focus considering that there are many opportunities in agriculture that await those who are willing to undertake farming projects in the countryside or even in the urban areas.
There are opportunities in producing crops and farm animals. There are also possible projects in food processing, agritourism and marketing of farm produce. Agricultural projects can be a potent engine of economic growth, employment and poverty alleviation.
Sen. Villar said that they have invited knowledgeable resource persons who could provide practical advice on how to start even a small agri-based business.
She added that the Villar Foundation and in her capacity as chair of the Senate Agriculture and Food Committee will fully support initiatives for sustainable production in agricultural communities.
She sees agribusiness as an important contributor to food security and in addressing the escalating food prices.
She stressed that agribusiness can be an option for OFWs who will decide to stay in the country for good, particularly those whose status cannot be legalized and will opt to return to their respective provinces and start their own businesses.
“We have to prepare them to ensure that they and their families can lead a comfortable life in the country even without going back to their jobs abroad. And engaging in agribusiness is one option. With a small capital and a piece of land in their backyard, they can start business,” explained the senator.
Aside from agribusiness, speakers will also talk on OFW reintegration. The other topics are spotting business opportunities, financial literacy, franchising, direct selling, real estate salesmanship, product consignment, and distributorship.
“We want OFWs and their families to have an entrepreneurial mindset for them to invest their earnings or the remittances they get into profitable endeavor. We want them to have success stories, not sob stories that we often hear from distressed OFWs,” she said.
The lady senator will give the closing remarks in the summit, while her husband, former Sen. Manny Villar, will give an inspirational talk. GoNegosyo’s Joey Concepcion will deliver the opening remarks.
As in previous years, according to Nini Rubia-Enrique, there will be raffle prizes in the summit which include a house and lot from Camella, one motorcycle and a LED TV set from KServico, 5 Aling Puring’s sari-sari store packages, 10 pankabuhayan appliances from Savers, 50 dealership certificates and 10 gift packs from Dakki, 10 gift packs from Ever Bilena dnd 2 Kettle Kart businesses.
Majority of the raffle prizes will help the OFWs and their families start a business.
The corporate sponsors of the summit are Vista Land, Vista Residences, Camella Homes, KServico and Ali Home. Institutional partners include the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and Blas Ople Policy Center, National Reintegration Center for OFWs and POEA.
The Manila Bulletin is one of the media partners.