FIVE government agencies have agreed to implement integrated programs and services in agribusiness for repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
In a virtual meeting the five national government offices signed a joint memorandum circular that will assure OFWs new livelihood opportunities for them and their families to make a brand new start while in their own land.
The circular covers the programs, projects, services, and initiatives of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Science and Technology, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda), and National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said that the agreement is a testament to the strong resolve of the Duterte administration to help repatriated OFWs by putting together responsive and sustainable social protection packages for them.
He said that food and agribusiness have always been a good investment for them to consider.
Through the agree,emt, the Agri-Negosyo (ANYO) Para sa OFWs Program will offer strengthened and more efficient delivery of agribusiness-related programs and services from the concerned agencies to address the urgent need to provide livelihood for repatriated OFWs.
“This whole of government approach will be key to helping them succeed at the end of the day and there is much opportunity for us to challenge ourselves and encourage the OFWs to get engaged in micro, small, and medium enterprises with our nurturing and support,” Secretary Dar said.
Dar heads the IATF Task Group on Food Security, which was created as part of the whole of the government strategy to ensure food sufficiency despite the challenges of the pandemic.
The Task Group is composed of 20 government agencies collaborating together to make action plans focused on food resiliency, energy, food value chain and logistics, water, food procurement and distribution, and agribusiness.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, who chairs the IATF Food Security Sub-Task Group on Agribusiness, stressed the importance of the government’s complementation strategy to address the needs and offer more opportunities for the returning OFWs recognized as the country’s heroes.
The Sub-Task Group on Agribusiness will coordinate with other concerned agencies such as the Department of Labor and Employment and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration for the identification of OFWs, monitoring, and implementation of interventions under the agreement.
Secretary Dar shared his hope that the OFWs will give Philippine agriculture a second look and consider starting their journey of not only becoming agripreneurs, but also partners in national development.