WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Philippine Embassy’s Economic Team, composed of the Philippine Trade and Investment Center-Washington,DC (PTIC-WDC), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Philippine Overseas Labor Office – Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (POLO-OWWA), and the Office of the Agriculture Attaché (OAA) conducted a Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan(TNK) / Entrepreneurial Development Seminar on 06 April 2019 at the Philippine Chancery Annex Building in Washington, D.C.
The seminar attracted a diverse audience from the Washington metropolitan area, composed of Filipino and Filipino-American teachers, small business owners, professionals, and household workers. Interested overseas Filipino workers also followed the seminar through Facebook Live, especially from many areas in the Caribbean.
Labor Attaché Angela Librado-Trinidad delivered opening remarks to highlight the administration’s thrust to educate and help Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) invest their savings into higher-generating instruments and increase their self-sufficiency through entrepreneurial initiatives.
Economic Minister Jose Victor Chan-Gonzaga then conducted a financial planning diagnostic exercise to help participants understand how much savings they should put aside, their current financial standing, and how much savings they should aim to achieve while they are still active in the workforce.
Commercial Counsellor Raymond Batac discussed elements of the DTI’s Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan (TNK) initiative, including the Philippines’ employment situation, the contribution of MSMEs to the Philippine economy, the opportunities available for entrepreneurs, and the DTI’s suite of services offered for individuals and MSMEs to support entrepreneurship in the Philippines. He also discussed the various franchising opportunities in the Philippines.
Agricultural Attaché Dr. Josyline Javelosa proceeded to discuss agribusiness opportunities in the Philippines through the use of tools and resources developed by the Department of Agriculture (DA). She also explained several financial assistance programs provided by the DA’s Agricultural Credit and Policy Council for production and recovery loans including for agricultural machinery and equipment. An electronic extension system was also presented as a means for OFWs to learn various technologies on Philippine agriculture and fisheries.
OFWs were also introduced to “Biyaheng Agripreneur, ” a program jointly developed by the DA and the Philippine National Reintegration Center for OFWs, that prepares OFWs and their families on the economic potentials of agriculture through on-site farm visits, exposure to actual farm business management, and interaction with successful farm owners and operators on current trends and issues.
Welfare Officer Josephine Tobia provided information on OWWA services, including the reintegration program, social benefits program, the education and training assistance program, and the workers welfare assistance program.
“We are glad that the Embassy’s TNK/Entrepreneurial Development Seminar was able to attract OFWs from different business and employment backgrounds,” Philippine Ambassador to the United States, Jose Manuel G. Romualdez said in a statement after the seminar.
“We hope that the participants appreciated the opportunity to engage with the Embassy’s economic officers, and learn about the facilities and services provided by the DTI, DA, and OWWA, particularly in generating employment and entrepreneurial activities in the Philippines,” Ambassador Romualdez added.
Philippine Tourism Attaché Susan Del Mundo and Rajah Tours Chairwoman Alejandra Clemente also delivered a presentation regarding the upcoming VIP Tour, an annual flagship project of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of Tourism. Now on its 13thedition, the VIP Tour will be held on 14-21 July 2019 and will feature key destinations in Manila, Bataan, Clark, and El Nido in Palawan.
This event seminar is intended to be the first in a series of entrepreneurial development seminars that the Embassy’s economic team will be holding this year for the Filipino diaspora in the metro DC area. ###