The yearly gathering of overseas Filipino workers and their beneficiaries was held today at the World Trade Center in Pasay.
The 9th OFW and Family Summit, spearheaded by the Villar Family through its foundation, the Villar Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance (Villar SIPAG), was attended by more than 4,000 OFWs and their families. This year’s theme was “Kabuhayan sa Sariling Bayan.”
“Masaya po kami dahil napakaraming kababayan na OFW ang nagpunta at nagpakita ng interes sa mga livelihood or business opportunities dito sa Pilipinas na maaari nilang paglagyan ng kinita nila abroad para magkaroon ng sariling kabuhayan dito sa atin,” Sen. Cynthia Villar said.
For the past years, the summit has evolved into a one-stop shop for OFWs where government and non-government organizations as well as business owners and franchise holders have set up booths and attended to the needs and queries of the attendees from starting a business to availing of government assistance and services.
“Gusto talaga namin na maraming mahikayat na ang katuparan ng mga pangarap ay hindi lamang makukuha kapag tayo ay nag-abroad. Pwede din tayong magtagumpay sa sariling bayan natin,” Villar added.
Sen. Villar was joined Las Piñas Rep. Camille Villar, Department of Public Works and Highways Sec. Mark Villar, Pasay Mayor Imelda Calixto-Rubiano, Department of Trade and Industry Sec. Ramon Lopez and Nick Reyes representing Pasay Rep. Tony Calixto during the ribbon-cutting ceremonies.
Resource persons were invited to discuss topics on financial literacy, business start ups/ trends. OFWs-turned-successful-entrepreneurs also provided guidance on how to seize opportunities and become entrepreneurs.
The dialogue with officials from government agencies focused on the concerns of OFWS from where to find accredited recruitment agencies, where to ask help for problems abroad, and their rights as an OFW.
Among the prizes raffled off during the event are the following:
1 House and Lot from Lessandra by Camella
2 Motorcycles from Isuzu Cavite
Appliance Showcase from Xtreme (5 LED 32″ TV; 2 LED 24″ TV; 2 LED 19″ TV; 10 microwave ovens; 5 personal refrigerators; 5 automatic washing machines; 5 cool party speakers)
P100,000 worth of Home Makeover from All Home
20 small appliances from All Home
10 Pangkabuhayan Showcases from All Day
10 smart phones from Oppo
5 smart phones from Grab PH
1 action camera
10 travel bags from BDO
5 passport holder from BDO
On the topic of financial literacy, the speakers were Burn Gutierrez, chairman of Angat Pilipinas Coalition for Financial Literacy; Eric Atanacio, president of Terra Verde Ecofarm, Inc.; and Rienzie Biolena, president and chief financial planner of Wealth Arki Consultancy, Inc.
For business landscape start ups, the speakers were Emma Tolentino, farmer owner of Eco Natural Integrated Farm and Learning Site; Ace Vergel dela Cruz, acquisition executive of Grab PH; and Capt. Danny Ricohermoso, executive vice president of the Integrated Seafarers of the Philippines, Inc.
OFWs-Turned-Successful-Entrepreneurs Gene Gutierrez (CEO and Founder, Big Ben’s Gourmet and Big Ben’s Kitchen), Bianca Tolentino (Founder, Cofficina Cafe + Co-work), and Princess San Diego (CEO and Founder, What’s Your Flan) were also featured in the panel discussion.
The dialogue with government agencies was attended by Atty. Sarah Lou Arriola, undersecretary Department of Foreign Affairs- Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (DFA- OUMWA); Vivian Tornea, deputy administrator of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA); Aristodes Ruaro, deputy administrator of the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA); and Atty. Emmeline Aglipay-Villar, undersecretary of the Department of Justice- Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (DOJ-IACAT).
This year’s OFW and Family Summit was held in partnership with the DFA, DFA-OUMWA, DFA Office of Consular Affairs, DOJ-IACAT, DOLE, OWWA, POEA, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Social Welfare and Development, DTI, PhilHealth, Social Security System, PAGIBIG, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, National Reintegration Center for OFWs, Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Agricultural Training Institute, Philippine Carabao Center and Blas Ople Policy Center and Training Institute.
Invited NGOs were: Ako OFW Inc., Association of Filipino Workers, Inc., Atikha Overseas Workers and Communities Initiatives, Inc., Center for Migrant Advocacy, Filipino Migrant Workers Group, International Domestic Workers Federation, Kapisanan ng mga Kamag-anak ng Migranteng Manggagawang Pilipino, Inc., OFW Movement Inc., Philippine Association of Service Exorters, Inc., Philippine Migrants Rights Watch, and OFW Family Circles.
The media partners were Wowowin, GMA 7 International, Net 25 (Eagle Broadcasting), Sonshine TV, UNTV, DZRH, DZAR, DZXL RMN, DZEC, DZMM, DZBB, DWIZ, RADYO 5, Bombo Radyo, Crossover, JAM 88.3, K Lite, magic 89.9, Play 99.5 FM, Wave 89.1, Wish, Manila Bulletin, Philippine Star, Business Mirror, Bulgar, Pilipino Mirror, Pilipino Star Ngayon.