Press Release
November 22, 2013


AFTER acquiring knowledge on agribusiness and other enterprises from yesterday's 3rd OFW and Family Summit at the World Trade Center in Pasay City, some Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their family members said they were inspired and motivated to start their own businesses.

Thousands of migrant Filipino workers and their relatives attended the summit, sponsored by VILLAR SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance) and GoNegosyo, which has for its theme, "Kita at Ipon,Palaguin at Pagyamanin sa Pagnenegosyo."

The participants thanked VILLAR SIPAG, especially Senators Manny & Cynthia Villar, and GoNegosyo, for the insights, information and the knowledge they obtained from attending the event.

They noted that the summit is a big help to them especially those who might opt to stay in the country for good, or for their relatives who want to make investments or start a business using the hard-earned money of their loved ones working abroad.

Senator Cynthia Villar of VILLAR SIPAG said they decided to include agribusiness as a new feature of the summit due to its broad potential as engine of economic growth and poverty alleviation.

She said this would give returning OFWs, or those affected by the renewed crackdown of foreign workers in Saudi Arabia, a chance to venture into a business even with a small capital.

"I hope some of our participants will embark on agribusiness and work hard to maintain its sustainability," said Villar, chair of the Senate Agriculture and Food Committee.

"We have to equip them to ensure that they and their family members 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.

She wants our OFWs and their relatives to have an entrepreneurial mindset. She noted that providing OFWs the needed business know-how can help them secure their future.

The Villar SIPAG, in partnership with Smart Communications also launched "Project Yolanda: Family Tracing Information Center " to help typhoon victims locate their missing family members. The senator said the joint project is also their way of helping our OFWs and their family members trace the whereabouts of their loved ones from the communities ravaged by supertyphoon "Yolanda."

"Just provide us the name, address and other details of your relatives and loved ones from the affected areas of supertyphoon, and we'll the job for you," said Villar.

Meanwhile, the resource speakers from the emerging agribusiness markets who discussed how they gained access to the industry, and has kept it going are those from the Meralco Business Farm Institute, Agri-Aqua Network International, Agricultural Sector Alliance of the Philippines / Soro-Soro Ibaba Development Cooperative (AGAP/SIDC), National Federation of Hog Farmers, Inc. and Samahang Inudstriya ng Agrikultura.

Aside from agribusiness, speakers also talked about Small Retail Businesses like franchising- Armando Bartolome, GoNegosyo Angelpreneur and President of the Association of Filipino Entrepreneurs; direct selling- Tommany Tan, President, Fern C, and retail- Leonardo Dayao, Puregold/Aling Puring.

There were also success stories of successful entrepreneurs and former OFWs like Paris Uy, owner of Organiko and an advocate of organic vegetables; Amado and Daisy Aricayos, owner of Fiorgelato; and Jojo Macua, Franchisee of Generics Pharmacy.

Speaking for the NGO and government agencies are Toots Ople of the Blas Ople Labor Center, Labor Attache Jeffrey Cortazar of National Reintegration Center for OFWs and Atty. Angelo Jimenez.

GoNegosyo's founding trustee Joey Concepcion gave the Welcome Remarks.

Former Senator Manny Villar delivered the inspirational talk.

As in the previous years, there were raffle prizes in the summit which included a house and lot from Camella, one motorcycle and a LED TV from KServico, 5 Aling Puring's sari-sari store packages from Puregold, 10 pangkabuhayan appliances from Savers, 50 dealership certificates & 10 gift packs from Dakki, 10 gift packs from Ever Bilena and 2 Kettle Korn Kart businesses from RFM.

Majority of the raffle prizes will help the OFWs and their families start a business.

The corporate sponsors of the summit are Vista Residences, Camella Homes, KServico, All Home and SMART. 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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