Press Release
November 8, 2017

Summit trains OFWs and beneficiaries to earn from agriculture

This year's OFW and Family Summit will focus on giving livelihood opportunities to overseas Filipino workers in agriculture.

Sen. Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food and director of the Villar Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance (Villar SIPAG) gave this statement during the Kapihan sa Senado media forum.

"The prospect for agriculture is promising with our government's renewed commitment to support this sector. We are also starting to reap the benefits of our legislative efforts to train our farmers on modern farming techniques and financial know-how," Villar said.

The 7th OFW and Family Summit is slated on November 22 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. It will put on centerstage OFWs who turned successful entrepreneurs in agriculture or 'agri-preneurs.'

The activity is open for all OFWs or beneficiaries such as spouse, children, parents or siblings of OFWs. Registration is free upon presentation of a photocopy of passport, proof of remittance, sea man's book, job contract and proof of kinship to OFW such as marriage certificate or birth certificate. Online registration can also be done through http://ofwsummit2017. The one-day summit with the theme "Kabuhayan sa Agrikultura para sa Pamilyang OFW," will open with a welcome message from Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, followed by a message from former Senate President Manny Villar, also founding chairman of Villar SIPAG. Sen. Cynthia Villar will give the closing remarks.

Attendees will also benefit from experts who will speak on different subjects. Atty. Angelo Valencia, Senior Fellow for Agri-business, Development Academy of the Philippines, will speak on financial literacy. Engr. Irene Bringas, Chief Executive Officer of the Abra Diocesan Teachers and Employees and Brian Belen of Ato Belen Farm will speak on farm school establishment.

Dr. Aladino Moraca, Operations Manager and Program Head on the Muscovado Project and Agribusiness Program of the Central Philippines State University, Iloilo City will discuss how farm mechanization and processing help minimize production losses of farms.

Divina Quemi, Manager and CEO of Nueva Segovia Consortium of Cooperatives, Vigan City; Lina Soriano, Landbank Program Officer on OFWs and Ed de Guzman, Program Officer on Agriculture Loans will tackle microfinancing available to OFWs through cooperatives and credit facilities. OFW-turned-agripreneur Gigi Moris, owner of MoCa Farm and Joel Frago of Forest Wood Farms and Garden in San Pablo City, Laguna, will also share their experiences in agri-business.

"The agriculture sector can very much provide jobs to OFWs displaced by the downturn in the petroleum industry. We are also beginning to attract OFWs to invest in the production of high-value crops and in agri-business," Villar said.

Administrator Hans Cacdac of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration will speak on the National Reintegration Programs for OFWs. The topic human trafficking and illegal recruitment will be given by Toots Ople of the Ople Center; and the forum on anti-investment/business scam will be led by Teodoro Pascua, Undersecretary of the Department of Trade and Industry- Consumer Protection Group.

Attendees will have the chance to win a House and Lot from Camella, a motorcycle from K Servico, Kettle Korn Cart, Pangkabuhayan Showcase from All Day Supermarket, and Appliance Showcase from All Home and Savers Appliance Depot.

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