29 November 2020
TAGUIG CITY - Various government agencies signed an agreement on Friday to help returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who have lost their jobs abroad and their families overcome this pandemic through the "Agri-Negosyo para sa OFWs" Program.

Together with 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), the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) signed a Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) on the implementation of 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.

In his message, 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 in the country.

"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 also shared what the "TESDA Abot Lahat ang OFWs" have accomplished so far on providing accessible scholarship registration, skills assessment, and certification through the TESDA Mobile App and the TESDA Website.

According to the government's data, there are about 331,145 repatriated OFWs in the country as of November 22, 2020. 16 percent of which are located in CALABARZON, followed by 14 percent in the Western Visayas, 11 percent in the National Capital Region, 10 percent in Central Luzon, and 9 percent in Central Visayas. An estimated 110,000 OFWs are also expected to return to the country.

"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. ###