8 November 2020
TAGUIG CITY - Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will be given access to new business and livelihood opportunities after the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Overseas Workers' Welfare Administration (OWWA), Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC), and Coca-Cola Philippines signed on Thursday, November 5, a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to implement the OFW Reintegration through Skills and Entrepreneurship (OFW-RISE) Program.

OFW-RISE Program aims to offer returning OFWs an online course to be featured in the TESDA Online Program (TOP) that will enable them to transform their business ideas into business plans.

As an alternative to the usual face-to-face training that is not allowed yet in most areas of the country, TESDA has boosted its online service to its clients through the TESDA Website and the TESDA App. 

As stated in the agreement, TESDA shall facilitate the hosting of OFW-RISE with links to the websites of OWWA and PTTC, as well as the issuance of electronic certificates of completion to the participants.

Meanwhile, OWWA shall co-lead the management team that will oversee the overall implementation of the program and facilitate the application to the OWWA livelihood programs of the OFWs who have completed the course with business canvas outputs.

PTTC shall facilitate links to other program implementers to tap the Department of Trade and Industry’s Negosyo Centers and process referrals for enrollment in its program offerings. 

In his message, TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapeña shared that the TOP has been very helpful to the Filipino people as the number of its users and registrants continue to increase.

"The President, Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte, recognized the TESDA Online Program as a tool to help people, especially the OFWs to become productive during these difficult times. We are continuously creating ways to assist our OFWs in response as well to the directive of Mayor Duterte to provide them special programs to help them rebuild their lives back here in the country," he said.

Lapeña also expressed his optimism that with all other programs that TESDA has launched this year, such as the “TESDA ABOT LAHAT ANG OFWS,” OFW-RISE will become another significant tool to help OFWS rise from the challenges brought by this pandemic.

Also present in the virtual signing of the MOA were TESDA Deputy Director General for Partnerships and Linkages Aniceto “John” Bertiz III, Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III, OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac, PTTC Executive Director Nelly Nita Dillera, and Coca Cola Philippines Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability Director Jonah De Lumen-Pernia. ###