Press Release
November 26, 2015

5th OFW and Family Summit opens
Villar cites expanding value of OFW summit to provide business opportunities, protect OFWs

Sen. Cynthia Villar in the occasion of the formal opening of the 5th OFW and Family Summit at the World Trade Center in Pasay City, stressed the importance of the holding of the summit which has evolved into a one-stop shop for matters concerning OFWs.

"Now in its fifth year, the purpose of the summit expanded from a venue where OFWs learn how to start their own business to a venue where OFWs also learn how to protect themselves from abuse and scams," Villar said.

The summit was opened by Sen. Manny Villar, founding chairman of Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance) and Joey Concepcion, founding trustee of GoNegosyo.

Cynthia Villar, director of Villar SIPAG, said OFWs look forward to the annual holding of the summit as it provides a venue where they can interact with private and government institutions for concerns ranging from access to financial services, social benefits, legal assistance, among others.

"Aside from teaching our OFWs how to wisely invest their savings and grow their income, it is equally important to educate them how to protect their hard-earned money and how not to fall victims of human trafficking, illegal recruitment and investment scams," she added.

Villar mentioned the case of Gloria Ortinez, the OFW from Hong Kong who was a victim of the tanim-bala extortion racket at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Ortinez was awarded with a sari-sari store startup package at the summit.

During the summit attended by some 5,000 participants, a session was dedicated to discuss illegal recruitment and human trafficking by Susan Ople of the Blas H. Ople Policy Center and Training Institute; and business investment scams by Atty. Minerva Sobreviga-Retanal of the Anti-Fraud Division, National Bureau of Investigation.

Special speakers such as Michelle Molas of Google Philippines, Randell Tiongson of the Registered Financial Planner Institute Philippines, and Benel Lagua of the Development Bank of the Philippines talked about marketing, financial literacy and financing or small and medium enterprises. Atty. Angelo Jimenez of the Asia Pacific Basin for Energy Strategies also talked about the National Reintegration Center for OFWs.

Success stories of OFW entrepreneurs Carlo Calimon (MobKard), Imelda Dagus (Dennis Coffee Garden), Rosalie Ellasus (Philippine Maize Federation), Prudencio Garcia (Mekeni), Zarah Juan (Green Leaf Eco Bags), and Myrna Padilla (Mynd Consulting) were shared during the event.

Agripreneurs such as Henry Lim Bon Liong (Sterling Paper Group of Companies), Joseph Calata (Calata Corporation), Edith Dacuycuy (REFMAD Farms), Leo Dator (Itlog ni Kuya, Atbp.), Avelino Lomboy (Lomboy Farms), Paco Magsaysay (Real Fresh Dairy Farms Inc.), Antuza Refalda (Kalinga Brew), and Paris Uy (Livegreen International Inc.), also shared their stories.

Jorge Wieneke, Vix MadlangBayan, Glenn Baticados, and Tess Dimaculangan also offered mentoring on agribusiness, organic farming, technopreneurship, marketing, business startup, and family business.

Villar SIPAG and Go Negosyo partnered to hold the summit. Government agencies such as the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Labor and Employment, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, National Reintegration Center or OFWs, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Social Security System, Philhealth, and PAGIBIG, have also set up booths at the venue.

Also institutional partners are the Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Department of Science and Technology, and Department of Trade and Industry.

"We are very proud of what we have achieved through the OFW summit of providing not dole-outs but the right tools to equip our OFWs as they venture into starting their own business," she said.

Aside from the precious advice on entrepreneurship, participants also had a chance to take home a house and lot from Camella Homes, business franchises from Kettle Korn, sari-sari store package from All Day, home appliances from Saver's, motorcycle from K-Servico, and business packages from event partners and sponsors.

With the theme "Ipon Mo, I-Negosyo Mo," this year's OFW and Family Summit is also sponsored by Camella Homes, All Home, K-Servico, All Day, 2Go, Kettle Korn, Saver's, and Filway Marketing Group.

The media partners are Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Wowowin, Manila Bulletin, Magic 89.9, Play 99.5, Wave 89.1, 105.1 Crossover, Jam 88.3, DZRH, RMN, DWIZ, Bombo Radyo, DZBB, Radyo 5.

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