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DTI to train OFWs to become entrepreneurs

Program to help OFWs and improve local economy
By Entrepreneur Staff |

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) are training overseas Filipino workers to become entrepreneurs and exporters, saying this will not only improve the lives of the Filipinos but it will also help strengthen the country\\\'s economy.

“Export-driven economies such as the Philippines would need to build the capacity of entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs to enhance our exporting activities and boost the local economy,” Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory L. Domingo said.

A study by the Philippine Institute of Development Studies (PIDS) showed that the Philippines is one of the world’s largest labor exporters since the 1980s and one of the largest recipients of overseas workers’ remittances. In 2010, international remittances from abroad have reached US$18.8 billion, according to recent Bangko Sentral data. However, how these remittances were spent is another matter.

Recognizing the need to make beneficial gains out of these remittances particularly in the domestic economy, the DOLE through the National Reintegration Center for OFWs has tapped the DTI through the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC) to organize a training package for overseas workers and encourage them to venture into business.

These free training sessions consist of key topics on how to start a business, entrepreneurial education activities where they learn the business cycle, market supply and demand, and selling as well as preparing the business plan.

“By developing returning overseas workers into exporters and entrepreneurs, we will be creating a new stream of export revenues. With the Philippine exports roadmap in place, we are looking at  more entrepreneurs and exporters breaking into the global market,” Trade Undersecretary for International Trade Adrian S. Cristobal Jr. said.

The PEDP, the backbone of the Philippines’ international trade strategy, aims to double exports to $120 billion by 2016.

Achieving these export targets likewise translates to building the capacity of the country’s exporters and would-be exporters in addressing the demands and trends of the global market. Based on industry data, the Philippines has close to 10,000 exporters.

A study by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said that overseas remittances could spur local development through entrepreneurship. The study also cited the role of government to provide support mechanisms to overseas workers and remittance receiving families who are self-employed or who have entered into enterprises.

For this year, the PTTC training targets some 2,000 overseas workers as participants. The sessions will culminate with an activity on preparing the business plan. The best business plans will qualify for a start-up loan package from the Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines.

There are about two million Filipinos working abroad, majority of which are based in the Middle East. The training sessions will assist returning overseas Filipino workers affected by the recent political unrest in the region and reintegrate them into the economy. The government is likewise preparing several other programs.

The training schedule is as follows: August 2 and 3, August 9 and 10, August 16 and 17, August 23, 24 and 31, September 1, September 6 and 7, September 13 and 14, and September 20 and 21.

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For more information, contact Ma. Joey Urmeneta of the Philippine  Trade Training Center (PTTC) at 468.8962 or 831.9988 or log on to www.pttc.gov.ph.

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