DAGUPAN CITY, May 7 (PIA) - - Various government agencies joined hands to conduct a one-stop shop of information, offering a menu of agriculture and agri-business related programs and services to address the urgent need to provide livelihood for repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Dubbed as 'Agri-Negosyo para sa OFWs', the virtual regional roll-out was led by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) joined by its partner agencies - the Departments of Agriculture (DA), Trade and Industry (DTI), Science and Technology (DOST), Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), Technical Skills and Development Authority (TESDA), Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
Some 170 participants, most of whom, are OFWs, joined the virtual activity.
Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba of DTI and focal person on the Sub-Task Group on Agribusiness gave an overview of the activity saying the roll-out offers full service information to OFWs in terms of starting an agribusiness, provide investment opportunities, assist in crafting business plans, facilitate access to financing programs , trainings, technology and rebuild network and linkages in all stages of the agriculture value chain,"
"A profile of the OFWs show that there are 2.2 million OFWs mostly deployed in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Taiwan, Hongkong and Kuwait with a total remittance of P157.94-billion. And then came the pandemic and the government has repatriated a total of 569,462 OFWs," Aldaba said during the roll-out.
Of the number of repatriated OFWs, 21 percent came from Region 4B (CALABARZON), 14 percent from Central Luzon, 13 percent from the National Capital Region, seven percent from Central Visayas and 6.1 percent from Ilocos region.
"Government agencies are working together to strengthen agriculture and agribusiness towards the creation of more and better jobs in the regions," she added.
On the other hand, Undersecretary for Agro-Industrialization and Fisheries Cheryl Marie Caballero presented the opportunities for agriculture and fisheries followed by messages from the regional directors of the aforementioned agencies.
A virtual tour of the Korea - Philippines seafood processing complex in Bonuan Binloc, Dagupan City, was also showcased followed by the presentations from the agencies
Betty Ramos, wife of an OFW, commented "Maganda po talaga ang agri-negosyo. Ang aking asawa na dating OFW seafarer ngayon ay farmer na. Magkakasama pa kami. Salamat po sa agency partners para sa maraming support at tulong sa kaalaman."
Meanwhile in the Network Briefing news aired Wednesday, Gigaquit, Surigao Del Norte Mayor Chandru Bonite discussed the 'bagsakan' and display center as well as the dispersal of tilapia fingerlings.
"We would like to thank Secretary Lapena because he came here to our farthest barangay Camam-onan to inaugurate the CamVeGra which gives fingerlings to the insurgency-affected areas. We will duplicate these with other barangays," Mayor Bonite said. (JCR/VHS/PIA Pangasinan)