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National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO)

May 2019

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For five consecutive years, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), through the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO), partner with the Integrated Seafarers of the Philippines (ISP) in producing a special project dubbed as “From Seafarers to Entrepreneurs: The NRCO-ISP Business Plan Competition (Harnessing Seafarers’ Capacities for Business Enterprises Development)”.

More than 150 seafarers and their families attended the 5th launch of the Competition at the Seafarer Center, SM City Manila last 22 May 2019.

OIC-Director Roel B. Martin delivered his opening remarks for the Competition. “Usually we conduct this in a hotel, but this time, we are trying to reach out directly to the seafarers and their families,” he said.

This project aims to encourage and hand-hold qualified seafarers intending to venture into social entrepreneurship and, at the same time, support the growth of jobs in their hometowns and communities. Acceptance of entries is on 22 May to 6 September 2019.

 “Nais po ng DOLE, OWWA at NRCO na matulungan ang mga OFWs na magkaroon ng option na hindi na mangibang-bansa. I’m proud to say that the Business Plan Competition in partnership with the Integrated Seafarers of the Philippines has realized those dreams of our OFWs,” said OIC-Director Martin.

Since 2015, NRCO received more than 200 business plan proposals. Among the aspiring participants, the Competition has produced four seafarers who became successful entrepreneurs who were able to help their community to have decent jobs:

  • 2015 winner: Mr. William Gaspay Seaweeds Farming in Masinloc, Zambales
  • 2016 winner:Ryan Mark Antiquera – Soft Broom Making in Manito, Albay
  • 2017 winner:Oswald Rollorazo– TMR Ruminant Feeds in Sta. Ignacia, Tarlac
  • 2018 winner: Dr. Nelson Mejia Jr – Metro Cebu Express / MCE Shipping Lines

The competition is open to: Active seafarers preferably those who are planning to retire from sea life and interested to venture into entrepreneurship; and, Inactive seafarers who have been in the Philippines for not more than five (5) years and interested to venture into entrepreneurship.

Participants may join the competition in solo, duo or by group (minimum of 3 members and maximum of 5). Competition entrants, whether individually or members of a team, must be Filipino and 25 years old or older.

A qualified seafarer who wishes to join the competition but is currently on duty and is unable to attend presentation and coordination activities related to the Competition including attendance to screening and mentoring/coaching activities, must have at least one (1) official representative, (must be an immediate family member) who will handle all the tasks and activities required in the Competition.

The NRCO, an attached agency of OWWA, is mandated to develop, promote and implement a national agenda on sustainable return and reintegration to address the multi-faceted reintegration needs of returning Overseas Filipino Workers and their families, including the development of their hometowns and/or communities.

The Integrated Seafarers of the Philippines, on the other hand, is a non-stock and non-profit organization formed and established for the welfare of Filipino seafarers and their families. It aims to create avenues where the seafarers' families can improve their lives while the seafarers are on active duty; and to provide ways for their easier social reintegration after the culmination of their overseas jobs.

Other details of the Competition will be posted at www.facebook.com/dole.nrco  

and www.nrco.dole.gov.ph. ###