TESDA signs joint agreement for ‘Agri-Negosyo’ program

Published November 29, 2020, 1:48 PM

by Dhel Nazario

A joint memorandum circular (JMC) has been signed between the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and other institutions to help returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who have lost their jobs abroad through the “Agri-Negosyo para sa OFWs” program.

Agri-Negosyo para sa OFWs is a one-stop-shop of information for OFWs which will introduce agri-business; provide investment opportunities; assist in crafting business plans and studies; facilitate access to financing programs, trainings, available technology; and build network linkages.  

The JMC was signed by the Department of Agriculture (DA), National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), the Department of Science and Technology (DoST), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to implement the unified action of the agencies for the integration of government programs and services in agri-business to address the urgent need for sources of livelihood and gainful employment of repatriated OFWs and develop the agriculture and fisheries sector. 

TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapeña assured that TESDA will fully support and cooperate in all the activities of the program, saying that the five government agencies that signed the agreement share the same goal of making the lives of repatriated OFWs easier as they rebuild their lives here.

“With this JMC forged among us, the concerns of OFWs related to agribusiness will be consolidated and simplified. We are hoping to efficiently address the urgent need for sources of livelihood and gainful employment of our repatriated OFWs,” he said.

Lapeña said the “TESDA Abot Lahat ang OFWs” have provided  accessible scholarship registration, skills assessment, and certification through the TESDA mobile app and the TESDA website.

Government’s data showed there are about 331,145 repatriated OFWs in the country as of Nov. 22, 16 percent of whom are from Calabarzon, 14 percent in the Western Visayas, 11 percent in the National Capital Region, 10 percent in Central Luzon, and nine percent in Central Visayas. 

An estimated 110,000 OFWs are expected to return to the country.