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Some four former overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Zamboanga del Norte have been assisted by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) – IX through the agency’s Innovations for Filipinos Working Distantly from the Philippines (iFWDPH) Program.

The four OFWs, who are from the municipalities of Sergio Osmeña Sr. and Labason and the cities of Dipolog and Dapitan, passed the program's qualification requirements. They will undergo 14 sessions of online capacity building and mentorship which started on 15 June and will run until 05 August, this year. The sessions will train them in the development of their business plan and conceptualizing their proposed technology-based enterprises including practical tips on managing business enterprises.

“We are happy that four OFWs in the province, which we considered our heroes, have availed this program. The IFWDPH is a good program for them especially if they are planning to make it good in the country,” said Mr. Nuhman M. Aljani, provincial director of DOST’s Provincial Science and Technology Center in Zamboanga del Norte (PSTC-ZDN).

Launched in 2020, iFWDPH is DOST’s initiative to mitigate the downbeat effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on displaced OFWs, their dependents, and other Filipinos living abroad who would want to go home or invest in the country for financial stability and security. Moreover, this initiative aims to provide opportunities for repatriated OFWs and their families to start technology-based enterprises in the country.

Following their completion of capability building under Phase 1 of the program, the OFW-beneficiaries will graduate into Phase 2 wherein they will be granted the innovation-enabling fund (iFund) to jumpstart their enterprises. The fund will enable them to acquire the needed equipment and technology for their business. In addition, DOST will also provide other interventions such as technical consultancy services, product analyses, and human resource development through training, among others.

Industry priority sectors covered by the IFWDPH include those technology-based enterprises in (1) food processing, (2) furniture making, (3) gifts and housewares; (4) agriculture, marine, and aquatic resources; (5) metals and engineering; (6) health and pharmaceuticals; and (7) ICT/Electronics.

IFWDPH is a year-round nationwide program of DOST open to all interested OFWs or their families. The applicants can contact any nearest DOST offices so they can be assisted appropriately. (Mark Vincent J. Baliña, PSTC-ZDN Press Release)

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Department of Science and Technology
Regional Office No. IX
2nd Flr. Limbo Bldg., Sanson St. cor. Roxas St., Barangay San Francisco, Pagadian City
Tel.: (062) 947-3894