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Jul 11 19, 10:36 am

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2019 Business plan tilt open to overseas, retiring seafarers

by | News

Jul. 11, 19 | 10:36 am

For those Filipino seafarers working abroad who are planning to retire soon, or thinking of investing their savings into business, a new opportunity awaits as OWWA opens Business Plan Competition for workers overseas.

The business plan competition is a Public-Private Partnership between DOLE OWWA-NRCO and Integrated Seafarers of the Philippines (ISP) and its affiliated manning agencies.

“The program promotes holistic approach on reintegration preparedness among seafarers with their families, said Labor and Employment Officer III, OWWA NCR Reintegration Coordinator Marco Antholin Santos.

The competition is open to active and inactive seafarers, 25 years old and above, who are interested to venture into entrepreneurship soon. Work experience does not necessarily matter in joining the competition. Also allowed to join are inactive seafarers or those who are already staying in the Philippines for not more than five years.

The competition process

In the event that the seafarer is working abroad, the members of the family of the seafarer can join and apply on behalf of him, but ideas should be coming from the seafarer itself.

The said competition is open for business start-ups as they welcome all types of business except franchising.

The competition has four stages: First stage is proposal writing that must be submitted on or before September 6 to [email protected] or thru the NRCO Regional Coordinators at OWWA Regional Welfare Offices.

The second stage is the screening round wherein all qualified entries will be screened down to 10 outstanding proposals. This includes background checking. In the event that there would be anyone from such list who would like to withdraw his/her entry, entries ranked 11 to 15 shall be considered to complete the ten (10) finalists. The announcement will be done end week of September 2019.

The third stage is the mentoring round. The top 10 contestants will undergo mentoring in Manila, which include one-day-one-topic about business and entrepreneurship, business planning, tax and business registrations, financial management, Human resources management, marketing and sales, personality development, and other negosyo tips by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The contestants must attend all topics; otherwise they may be subject to disqualification.

Business aspirants may also call at (02)526-2392 and (02)5276184 for more information. Sample business plan format is downloadable at www.nrco.dole.gov.ph

Inspirations and aspirations

Lemuel, and Justin are just two of the many Filipino seafarers who aspire to build a business soon. For being a seafarer also means rafting the rough seas, the two dream of having an income-generating activity at the soonest possible time.

For Lemuel Lorejo, 28 from Cavite City, Philippines, being a seafarer is a difficult job. His eleven years in profession pushed him to have second thoughts on having a stable money-generating activity in the country.

Which 27 years old seafarer from Calamba City-Justin Juanata also reiterated that being a seafarer is a full combination of fun and challenge. He experience traveling around the world yet he’s away from his family.

“The hardest part is being alone, away from your family,” Justin emphasized.

Lemuel traveled many times abroad including countries like Pakistan, UAE, Saudi, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Djibouti, Sudan, Egypt, France, UK, Germany, Belgium, Canada, USA, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Chile, Japan, China, So Kor, Taiwan, Thailand, and Philippines.

“To tell you the truth, I already decided to quit seafaring this year,” he said.

“Life at sea is very hard. It’s true that when you’re at ship, half of your body is in the grave already. You never know what will happen to you. Heavy weather, piracy, hours of work, bureaucracy in shipping business, etc. But my worst in my shipping career is probably being at sea with limited or no communication to my family,” Lemuel claimed.

On the other hand, Justin manages his paycheck every time he receives it.

“Our work is not stable. So what I do is I save so that in times I have no work, I have enough money to spend. But I also do investments. A part of my salary goes to stock, Justin claimed.

That is why when they heard about the new opportunity that would give them the chance where he can invest his savings; they did not have any second thought of joining the said competition.

“It is a good opportunity to showcase our hidden plans onboard. As a matter of fact, whenever we experience very bad weather, we always plan on having a business,” Lemuel described.

Mr. Lorejo also said that he thought of having a coffee shop, a burger resto, or a laundry shop soon.

While Justin aims to have an apartment business soon.

“I plan to build an apartment. But if there will be opportunities, I would love to try and risk on it,” Justin explained. “Of course to be able to save more for my family’s future and build a business as well, I also need business so I wont need to work by any chance,” he added.

Plans and anticipations

Lemuel said that being active in social media and informing others about having a business is really important for seafarers. Information drive and financial literacy should be focusing on seafarers especially on the younger ones so that they can avoid what the veteran seafarers failed to do.

“It is a very good thing for seamen to have a business. Whenever they are on vacation, their money is just revolving and not always going out. It can help them from various financial obligations and payments like bills, food, etc. Also, it will make their wives, husband’s or partners go busy in the business,” Lemuel added.

He also dubbed that his perfect business is a business that can stand for at least five to eight years and not just hyped because of the trend, like milktea. “I want a business that can last for a long time because the produce is needed for everyday lives,” Lemuel described.

“Eventually, if they can produce money like what they earn onboard, they can now settle for good in the Philippines,” he said.

“My plan is to have a stable business with decent income, then I will have my own family,” Lemuel further explained.

Justin on the other hand can share this business plan competition to his networks through word of mouth.

Verdict

The final round is expected to happen in November 2019, where contestants are required to defend their proposals before the panel of judges. Questions will evolve around the proposal, and announcement of winners will be done after the defense.

Criteria for judging includes content of the plan including social business idea and purpose (30), impact on the community (20), financial viability (30), clarity and presentation of the business plan (10), and drive/determination of the business plan owner-entrepreneur (10)- for a total of 100 points.

The business plan of the year overall champion will receive P500,000 grand cash prize (to be given in three tranches), P100,000 for first runner up, and P50,000 each for the remaining finalists. Also, there are possible grants and access to preferential business loan funding from NCRO and its partners.

“After the competition, the OWWA thru NRCO monitors the progress of such business. We assist them on the first few stages of putting up their business. We also have partners that can assist them, like the Association of Filipino Franchisers, Inc. (AFFI), ISP Cooperative, among others, Mr. Santos added.

Photos: OWWA launched 2019 Business Plan Competition, May 22 at Seafarers Center, SM Manila (photo courtesy of OWWA)

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The Filipino Times is FREE and has the widest targeted circulation across the 7 emirates of the UAE.

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THE FILIPINO TIMES. We are where the Filipinos are.

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