By Leslie Ann Aquino
The Department of Labor and Employment – Overseas Workers Welfare Administration allocated some P300 million to support the livelihood undertakings of duly constituted associations of overseas Filipino workers organizations.
Dubbed as Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-Unlad ng Samahang-OFWs, or Tulong PUSO, the program aims to assist OFW organizations for the “formation, enhancement, and restoration” of livelihood projects in the form of raw materials, equipment, tools and jigs, and other support services.
“The Tulong PUSO is one of DOLE-OWWA’s mechanisms to encourage OFW organizations to engage in viable and sustainable livelihood undertakings. Together with partner agencies like the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Department of Agriculture (DA), we will be conducting enterprise development training and other social preparation interventions to equip the OFW groups with the right knowledge and skills to ensure the success of their chosen livelihood projects” OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac said in a statement.
The labor department said the livelihood assistance is a one-time grant that ranges from P250,000.00 to P1,000,000.00 relative to the requirements of the business project and the number of members of the OFW organization applying for the grant.
DOLE said OFW organizations with accreditation from them, Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) or the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) can submit a project proposal together with the documentary requirements to any of OWWA’s 17 Regional Welfare Offices nationwide, for evaluation.
The required documents are certificate of entrepreneurship development training (for start-up/formation), copy of DOLE/SEC/CDA registration, organizational profile with individual personal information, business permit issued by local government unit, business project (indicating or showing proponent capacity to put up an equity equivalent to at least 20% of the total project cost) and sketch of project site, and board resolution designating a business manager (on behalf of the group/organization) authorized to file the application for Tulong PUSO Program (with Notary Public),
DOLE-OWWA is optimistic that the Tulong PUSO program will encourage the OFW organizations to transcend from being mere social circles by venturing into productive, enterprising community-based endeavors that are aligned with the priority areas of the government in national and regional economic development and inclusive growth.