Overseas Filipino workers to get government help for tech start-ups

Manila: The Philippine government plans to provide assistance to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who intend to start up technology-based enterprises.

According to Department of Science and Technology (DOST) secretary Fortunato Dela Peña, DOST is developing a scheme to provide assistance in terms of technical support, training and even financial support to OFWs plans to launch their own business. “There are OFWs and OFW groups working in science and engineering. We will help them market their services, and provide them with technical assistance they need,” he said.

He said the PCIEERD (Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development) can provide assistance to start-ups.

The government, through the different agencies of the Department of Labour, provides livelihood assistance to OFWs who were either displaced from their jobs, have opted to return to their country for good after working years abroad, or want to assist their family by putting up a business.

But what makes this package different from all others concerning OFWs is that this endeavour will provide more far-reaching. “We will provide them with orientation, depending on their decision, if they would like to put up a technology-based enterprise. We will brief them first, then there might be a need to tour some of them in our facilities,” Peña was quoted by the state-run Philippine News Agency, as saying.

Aside from tech-related business, the DOST also helps other non-tech OFWs. According to Dela Peña, the DOST also plans to put up OFW desks to help OFW professionals or groups market their products or services.

Peña said the first step would be to let the OFWs know that such a programme exists. “First, the DOST will create and disseminate brochures to the OFWs. These brochures will contain the DOST’s services that they can avail of in case they want to put up a business, or if they want a retraining,” he said.

These brochures contain a selection of available training modules such livestock-raising, agricultures, food processing and manufacturing among others.

He said that the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), a DOST-attached agency, could assist on businesses related to livestock and aquaculture.

The Industrial Technology Development Institute, another DOST-attached agency, can help in food processing and other manufacturing technologies.


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