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Marcos to OFWs: Explore business opportunities in Philippines

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
Marcos to OFWs: Explore business opportunities in Philippines
Passengers queue at the check-in counters while others spend the night inside the NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay City ahead of their flights on October 29, 2022.
STAR / Miguel De Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — President Marcos urged overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to explore business opportunities in the country as an alternative to employment abroad and continue to contribute to the economy.

In his message read by Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual during the 2022 Go Negosyo OFW Summit in Pasay City yesterday, Marcos said he hopes that through entrepreneurship the OFWs will now have the option to come back home with the ultimate goal of making working abroad a choice rather than a necessity.

“My fellow countrymen, today, our country finds itself at the crossroads of recovery in the wake of the post-pandemic world. At this juncture, it has become imperative that we take the path toward progress and sustainability as we continue to open our economy and provide livelihood opportunities for every Juan and Juana in the country,” he said.

Marcos was represented by First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos at the summit held at the Music Hall of the SM Mall of Asia.

During the Go Negosyo summit, Araneta-Marcos announced the President’s office would give a P200,000 “bonus” to each of the event’s awardees.

Nine OFWs received the Kabayan Award for their “compelling journeys” as migrant workers.

In his message, the Chief Executive hailed the OFWs whom he called “modern-day heroes who bring pride to our country” and “a community that is close to my heart.”

“Your contributions to the Philippine economy and labor force, in general, are crucial elements to our trajectory toward lasting prosperity. In our country’s most trying times, you remained as a solid foundation of our economy, ensuring the generation of remittances to support your loved ones and keep our country afloat. For all this, I thank you,” he said.

Marcos thanked the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship Foundation-Go Negosyo, led by Joey Concepcion, the Department of Trade and Industry and other relevant institutions for organizing the summit.

“In today’s activities, we aim to make entrepreneurship an avenue where we can help OFWs and their families generate additional income to support their needs. We hope that through entrepreneurship, our OFWs will now have the option to come back home with the ultimate goal of making working abroad a choice rather than a necessity,” the President said.

“I’m glad to have you as reliable partners in fostering a culture of entrepreneurship among our OFWs, especially during these crucial times,” he said.

Marcos said he hopes the activities would shed light on topics such as financial management, smart investing, discerning business opportunities and many others that will provide OFWs in their reintegration into the economy as entrepreneurs.

“To our participants, it is my hope that you will join the summit with an open mind, allowing yourselves to widen your options for income generation and explore opportunities in the Philippines as an alternative for employment,” Marcos said.

The President also reiterated his administration’s commitment to continuously provide assistance to OFWs to ensure their welfare and competitiveness.

“We will continue to pursue initiatives that will ensure your well-being and develop anew the skills that the global workforce requires. At the same time, we will open up more and better opportunities for you at home so that you can help us in writing a new and vibrant chapter for our great nation,” he said.

Marcos likewise expressed his gratitude to the Department of Migrant Workers for developing initiatives that will enhance the competencies of OFWs, as well as offer livelihood and financial assistance to displaced OFWs and their families.

The President pushed for better welfare for OFWs during his first State of the Nation Address in July.

So far, there are about 1.77 million OFWs, according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.

In his message, Concepcion said Go Negosyo has spent the last 17 years helping micro, small and medium enterprises, some of which were established by OFWs.

“The President has the commitment of the private sector that we will continue our fight against poverty, so that together, we will realize a dream of bringing greater prosperity to all Filipinos and leaving no one behind,” he said.

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