Former OFWs, Now Business Owners after Receiving One-Time but Lifetime Aid

OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) who lost their jobs during the pandemic are now business owners after they found help in a one-time aid that they’re considering a lifetime aid, too. Even if they lost their jobs, they’re now able to support their families again.

OFWs Who Lost Jobs in Pandemic, Now Business Owners

Give a man to fish, he’ll live for a day. Teach a man how to fish, he’ll live a lifetime.” – Ancient proverb

Coca-Cola Philippines launched the OFW RISE program (Re-Integration through Skills and Entrepreneurship) for repatriated OFWs.

The program is done alongside TESDA (Technical Education and Skill Development Authority), which provides training for these OFWs.

Photo credit: Manila Times

Maicoconsider ko po ito na hindi lang one-time aid; tulong po siya for life. Tinulungan po ako na mas makilala ang sarili ko, ang passion ko. Na-discover ko ang strengths and weaknesses ko na pwedeng makaapekto sa pagnenegosyo,” said Manelene Gernale Handig, a former hotel receptionist in Dubai.

She’s the family’s breadwinner and had worked in Dubai for 12 years. During the pandemic, however, she lost her job.

With the help of TESDA and Coca-Cola’s RISE, she was able to grow the business she started when she first arrived in the Philippines.

Another OFW, Ceazar Esquibal, also lost his 17-year job as electrical engineer in Saudi Arabia. Like Manelene, he found help from the BalikBayani program.

Photo credit: Manila Times

He got a loan offered by the program to purchase the supplies he needed for a mini-grocery store. Under the grant, he was able to fill his store with basic household items, food, and various Coca-Cola products.

Recognizing their efforts, Coca-Cola Philippines chose her among the 20 exceptional Coca-Cola BalikBayani awardees. They received a business support package worth Php30,000 inclusive of Coca-Cola products.

Photo credit: Manila Times

Business Loans in the Philippines

You can take a loan to open a business in the Philippines:

  • Bank loans
  • Government loans
  • Cooperative loans
  • Micro lenders and lending agencies
Joy Adalia
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