Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office IX (OWWA9) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) recently distributed livelihood grants totaling Php 84,770,000.00 among 4,251 OFWs from January to September 2018 through its Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office IX (OWWA9).
Under OWWA’s Balik Pinas, Balik Hanapbuhay (BPBH) Program, livelihood grants were distributed in order to assist OFWs and their families to launch or manage self-employment ventures for income generation.
Php 20,000.00 cash assistance will be distributed among active or inactive OWWA members who were either (1) dislocated by hostilities/wars/political conflicts/policy reforms by host governments; (2) victims of illegal recruitment/trafficking and distressful situations; (3) distresses wards at Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Resource Centers who are due for repatriation; or (4) repatriated OWWA-members employed abroad who face financial challenges due to economic conditions.
OFWs who choose to return and reside permanently are provided the chance to establish their own enterprises after attending trainings tailored to their chosen line of business with partner agencies such as the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Ariana Rae C. Abequibel, an Emergency Medical Technician in the United Arab Emirates who had been laid off due to audition, found success through unconventional means when she discovered a recipe for barbecue and quickly opened Mama’s Homemade Longganisa & Barbecue Store with help from OWWA’s BPBH program. Soon enough her famed longganisa and barbecue became highly demand not only within her immediate neighborhood but from distant barangays across Manila city itself.
Mr. Sabrin H. Asarin was among the successful OFWs who benefited from this program, working as a bartender at KSA before returning home and starting fish retailing. With assistance from Balik Pinas Balik Hanapbuhay grant, he expanded into the rice retailing business, becoming a provider of both products to neighboring provinces near Zamboanga City.
Ms. Bakil had endured many difficulties on her journey from being an abused and maltreated Household Service Worker to becoming an independent businesswoman. Ms. Bakil stands as an inspiring testament of how something seemingly impossible can become possible when there is determination, passion, and perseverance behind a cause. She now operates one of the community’s growing sari sari stores. Proud that her business is running successfully while contributing significantly towards children’s education as well as meeting the needs of families and her community.
These recipients were highly inspired, and their goal is to use OWWA’s grant and their own hard-earned funds in ways that will ultimately become sustainable. End/With reports by Fatima Jane Salihuddin of OWWA9.