DOST allocates P5-million funding to help returning OFWs build own business

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As thousands of overseas Filipinos returned home amid the coronavirus outbreak, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is all set to allot an initial funding of Php5 million to help them put up their own business.

The government agency will allot the money for its iFWD PH (innovation for Filipinos Working Distantly from the Philippines) which aims to provide opportunities to overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to establish technology-based enterprise in their home country.

However, according to DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Pena, around 25 to 30 OFWs can be only accommodated this year.

“We official launched the program last Friday, and we are starting it soon. Initially, this program will be available in the NCR, and we would gradually roll this out to other regions in the future,” he was quoted as saying by PNA.

DOST will provide loan to the OFWs and they would return the amount with no interest.

As the guidelines haven’t been posted, de la Pena said OFWs may get the funding by showing counterpart funding–whether in cash or equipment.

He clarified that the counterpart funding needs to be the same amount that the DOST would provide.

“The businesses they would put up are required to be technology-based. It can be as simple as food processing, electronics, as long as there is technology involved,” he added.

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