Press Release
November 16, 2013

Agribusiness at the 3rd OFW and Family Summit 2013

TO afford returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), especially those affected by Saudization, a chance to start their own business with a small capital, agribusiness will be a focus in the 3rd OFW and Family Summit 2013 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City on November 22.

The summit, initiated by the VILLAR SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance) and GoNegosyo, has for its theme, "Kita at Ipon, Palaguin at Pagyamanin sa Pagnenegosyo."

Senator Cynthia Villar of VILLAR SIPAG said they decided to delve on agribusiness because of its broad potential as an engine of economic growth and employment and poverty alleviation.

"We have invited speakers who will give our migrant Filipino workers and their families knowledge to embark on agribusiness and maintain its sustainability," said Villar, chair of the Senate Agriculture and Food Committee.

Resource speakers from the emerging agribusiness markets like AGAP, AANI, SINAG and Meralco business farm, among others, will discuss how they gain access to the industry, and keep it going.

Villar assured to support initiatives for sustainable production of agricultural communities.

She also sees agribusiness a boost to food security by addressing the escalating food prices.

She said agribusiness can be an option for OFWs who will decide to stay in the country for good, particularly those whose status cannot be legalized, and will opt return to their respective provinces and start their own businesses.

"We have to prepare them to ensure that they and their families can lead a comfortable life in the country even without going back to their jobs abroad. And indulging in agribusiness is one option. With a small capital and a piece of land in their backyard, they start agribusiness," explained the senator.

Aside from agribusiness, speakers will also talk on OFW reintegration. The other topics are spotting business opportunities, financial literacy, franchising, direct selling, real estate salesmanship, product consignments, and distributorship.

Villar said providing OFWs the needed business know-how can help go back to the society and become "productive members" aside from ensuring protection for their hard-earned money.

"We want OFWs and their families to have an entrepreneurial mindset for them to invest their earnings or the remittances they get into profitable endeavor. We want them to have success stories, not sob stories that we often hear from distressed OFWs," said Villar.

The senator will give the closing remark in the summit, while her husband, former Manny Villar will give an inspirational talk. GoNegosyo's Joey Concepcion will deliver the opening remarks.

As in the previous years, there will be raffle prizes in the summit which include a house and lot from Camella, one motorcycle and a LED TV from KServico, 5 Aling Puring's sari-sari store packages, 10 pangkabuhayan appliances from Savers, 50 dealership certificates & 10 gift packs from Dakki, 10 gift packs from Ever Bilena and 2 Kettle Kart businesses. Majority of the raffle prizes will help the OFWs and their families start a business.

The corporate sponsors of the summit are Vista Land, Vista Residences, Camella Homes, KServico and All Home. Institutional partners include the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Overseas Workers' Welfare Administration (OWWA),Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), DFA and Blas Ople Policy Center , National Reintegration Center for OFWs and POEA.

The media partners in the event are PTV4, Philippine Star, Manila Bulletin, Business Mirror, People's Journal, People's Tonight, Abante, Bulgar, DZRH, Radyo Natin, Radio 5 Wanted sa Radyo (92.3 FM) by Raffy Tulfo and Nina Taduran, Crossover 105.1, Tiger 22 (Jam 88.3, Magic 89.9, Play 99.5, Wave 89.1, KLite 103.5).

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