OWWA helps OFWs build family businesses

More overseas Filipino workers who decided to stay home for good have started their family enterprises through the livelihood and OFW enterprise building programs of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), the labor department said Saturday.

In a report to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, OWWA cited the case of Rolly Real, who returned from Bahrain, and Florabel Gillo and Marilyn Beierly, from Kuwait and Malaysia, respectively.

Real availed of OWWA Region XI’s 10-day free Information Technology Training Program to enhance his skills in maintaining his newly-opened water refilling station and one-stop-shop bayad center.

To expand his business, he also plans to avail of the OFW Enterprise Development and Loan Program, an enterprise development intervention and loan facility of OWWA, in partnership with Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Gillo and Beierly availed of the Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay! Program, which is a package of livelihood assistance amounting to a maximum P20,000 as a start-up or additional capital intended for returning distressed or displaced member-OFWs.

Gillo, who hails from Davao del Sur, went to Kuwait as a household service worker in 2017, but was unable to finish her two-year contract due to maltreatment of her employer.

She sought the assistance of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Kuwait, which arranged for her repatriation in 2019.

Upon receiving the livelihood assistance from the OWWA Regional Welfare Office XI in November 2019, she immediately started her hog raising project.

With proper management and support from her family, Gillo earned much from her enterprise, which enabled her to invest in a sari-sari store and an automated vendo car wash.

Meanwhile, Beierly, who is also from Davao del Sur, availed both the Education for Development Scholarship Program and the Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay! Program.

Through OWWA’s scholarship grant, her daughter, Jelyn was able to finish Bachelor of Secondary Education Major in English at Cor Jesu College, Digos City in 2018 and subsequently passed the Licensure Examination for Teachers in 2019.

Presently, she accepts tutorial services at home while waiting for her plantilla item in one of the public schools in Davao del Sur.

Beierly availed OWWA’s livelihood assistance as she was unable to finish her contract in Malaysia also due to the maltreatment of her employer.

In March 2020, Beierly received the livelihood assistance of P20,000, which she used to purchase goods for her sari-sari store.

“We are very thankful to OWWA. Now, we are living proof that OWWA really cares,” said OFW Beierly.

As a testament of her desire to serve her fellow OFWs and their families, Beierly is now the Vice-President of Tuban, Sta. Cruz, Davao Del Sur OFW Family Circle.