A total of 59 Overseas Filipino Workers have completed the first phase of the Innovations for Filipinos Working Distantly from the Philippines (iFWD PH) program of the Department of Science and Technology.
IFWD PH is a support program that aims to help repatriated or returning OFWs establish their own technology-based businesses so they will be encouraged to settle in the country for good.
The OFWs were awarded with Certificates of Completion for the program’s Phase 1 or the Capacity Building for the Development and Management of Technology-Based Enterprise streamed via Facebook Live.
DoST Secretary Fortunato dela Pena said that after almost three months, these 59 OFWs have successfully finished the “TeknoLokal” or DoST Technology Pitching sessions, “TeknoKonsultasyon” or Technical Advisory meetings with experts from the DoST Research and Development Institutes (RDIs), and “Paano Ba Magnegosyo” or Core Business Development Sessions in partnership with the Entrepinoy Volunteers Foundation Inc. (EVFI).
Thirty-two OFWs will set up their businesses in the food processing, eight in the agriculture/marine, three in the gifts, housewares, and decors, three in health and wellness, six in ICT and electronics, four in metal fabrication, one in furniture making, and two in S&T services sectors.
The pilot run of the program’s Phase 1 was implemented in partnership with the Office of the Presidential Advisor on Overseas Filipino Workers (OPA-OFW), Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA), EVFI, and DoST RDIs. These 59 OFWs will be endorsed to the DoST regional offices for the application to the Phase 2 of the program.
Under Phase 2, each OFW beneficiary/group may be entitled to a package of support.
Dela Pena said financing will not only be for the purchase of equipment but it will also include those that are involved in the product development phase, in the laboratory testing place, and getting whatever technology licenses are needed to be taken in.