The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) announced that it will launch a “group of livelihood” assistance program for repatriated and returning OFWs starting next month.
According to OWWA, up to P1 million in loans will be given to business venture proponents.
Repatriated OFWs to Benefit from OWWA’s Livelihood Programs Set to Launch Next Month
In a Senate labor committee’s meeting regarding issues affecting OFWs amid the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday, August 25, OWWA Administrator Hans Cacdac said that loans ranging from P150,000 to P1 million would be granted to OFWs who would form groups for a business venture to help them cope from their displacement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Manila Bulletin reported.
Cacdac also noted that OWWA Board has already approved the program three weeks ago, and that it will be launched in September.
The OWWA administrator said that officials have agreed to grant loans to business groups as they have found that these will have a “higher chance” of surviving and flourishing amid the pandemic.
“Kaya ang napagpasyahan ng OWWA Board ay encourage ng group livelihood program lalo na sa panahon ng pandemya sir, baka mas matibay ang negosyo kung grupo po sila (That’s why the OWWA Board decided to encourage the group livelihood especially in this time of pandemic, because the business will be stronger if they build it in groups),” Cacdac explained when asked by Senator Ronald dela Rosa to provide more details regarding the said program.
He pointed out that this strategy, hopefully, will encourage OFWs to pursue venturing into businesses in groups so that they would be able to help each other and achieve their objectives together.
The group livelihood assistance plan supplements the OWWA’s “Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay!” Program, wherein a maximum of P20,000 cash grant is given to returning member-OFWs as start-up or additional capital for their livelihood project.
Cacdac reported that 70 percent of the Balik Hanapbuhay program beneficiaries have committed to invest the cash grant to businesses, but admitted that the agency does not have data on the success rate of the livelihood projects.
In line with this, the DOLE said that is in the process of preparing a database on the returning OFWs and their competencies and skills to help them return to the local labor market.