Participants during the online ‘graduation’ of OFWs from iFWD PH Program
“Today, we celebrate a new beginning for all of you,” said the Department of Science and Technology Undersecretary for Regional Operations Engr. Sancho Mabborang to the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) after graduating from the first phase of the Innovations for Filipinos Working Distantly from the Philippines (iFWD PH).
The iFWD PH is directed to assist OFWs who were repatriated or forced to return home by providing them with opportunities to move forward by establishing their technology-based enterprises.
Three Davaoñeos graduated from the program and are now thriving with their businesses in water refilling station, lechonan, and a centralized online store.
Edmar Rollon, an OFW from Digos City who worked as a restaurant cashier and an administrative assistant in a healthcare center in Dubai, applied for the program to enhance the operations of their family business named “Aaron's Lechon.”
He applied for the acquisition of a Lechon Roaster Machine to increase production and improve the appearance of their product with better product packaging.
“Thank you very much to DOST for this program, as this gave us hope that this is not yet the end but the start of a new beginning," Edmar said.
DOST XI Regional Director Dr. Anthony Sales expressed anticipation for the graduates that the lessons on entrepreneurship, enterprise development, and management will come to fruition amid the economic crisis in the country.
"I thank the Entrepinoy Volunteers Foundation, Inc (EVFI) for painstakingly ensuring that our OFWs will have the right skills in managing their technology-based enterprise," Dr. Sales added.
Dr. Renato Solidum, Jr., DOST Secretary, said that DOST launched iFWD PH to give a ray of light to repatriated OFWs and those still abroad by providing Science and Technology-based livelihood that will make them stay in the Philippines.
"To the OFWs, who took a chance on us and trusted us to help you reach your technology-based enterprise dreams, we recognize your hard work and perseverance. And today, allow me to say this with conviction, indeed – your labor is not in vain," Secretary Solidum concluded.
With the completion of Phase 1, the OFWs are encouraged to move forward with iFWD PH's Phase 2, which entails the provision of an innovation-enabling fund intended for entrepreneurship and technical training, product development and market testing, operational consultancy services, initial laboratory testing, packaging, and labeling design and execution for market testing, and equipment acquisition.
DOST XI S&T Information and Promotion