TODAY, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are given the opportunity to end the cyclical pursuit of employment abroad—being away from their families and enduring the risks of working in foreign countries.
We celebrate the cause of the Balik-Bayan Program of Go Negosyo—a cause that introduces a change in the lives of the OFWs and their families.
Again, this is a demonstration of the power of entrepreneurship to transform lives and build dreams.
Once again, Go Negosyo is paving the way to empower the members of a sector who often face the uncertainty of financial stability and employment once they return to the country.
We applaud Go Negoyo’s Balik-Bayan Program for introducing, developing, and reinforcing the entrepreneurial acumen in our OFWs.
This could be one of the best options that would convince OFWs to stay in the country — instead of returning overseas to work away from their families longer than we could imagine.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, around 1.96 million Filipinos worked overseas from April to September 2022.
The data showed the increasing number of Filipinos seeking employment abroad.
The PSA said there were 1.83 million Filipino workers overseas from April to September 2021.
The same PSA data showed that of the estimated 1.96 million OFWs in 2022, 1.13 million or 57.8 percent were females.
In 2021, 1.10 million or 60.2 percent of the 1.83 million OFWs were women.
The Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas, meanwhile, reported that the total remittance of the 1.96 million OFWs in 2022 reached P197 billion.
As a nation, we have cultivated a consciousness that venerates OFWs — and this is truly well-deserved, knowing how the sector’s remittances have stabilized the country’s economy over the years.
This respect mainly comes from our admiration of their resiliency, courage, and unbelievable strength to overcome the distress of being away from their children — being away from their loved ones.
The government has also never ignored the importance of the OFWs as a sector.
But, many of the OFWs would rather stay in the Philippines if there are employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for them.
Lagi po nating naririnig sa mga OFWs na “kung mayroon lang pagkakakitaan sa Pilipinas, hindi na kami mangingimbang-bansa.”
Despite the risk, despite the emotional grief, Filipinos leave the country, leave their families, and take the risk — to ensure that their families live in comfort back home.
Go Negosyo’s intervention serves as a new road and a new life for our OFWs.
The best part of this is that — while they are taught to fortify their economic security, they are doing it along with their families.
Let me congratulate the Balik-Bayan Award recipients! You are shining examples of the transformative power of entrepreneurship.
Let me also encourage other OFWs to explore this platform, discover diverse business models, network with industry experts, and connect with fellow OFWs who have successfully transitioned into entrepreneurship.
Your diverse achievements across various sectors serve as an inspiration to all OFWs.
You embody the Filipino diaspora: brave, selfless, and determined.
You are more than the remittances you send home, and we want you to transform your ideas into thriving businesses.
Once again, salamat po sa Go Negosyo — lalong lalo na sa pamumuno ni Joey Concepcion…thank you for helping many kababayans, and guiding them toward a promising future as entrepreneurs.
Let us work together to realize our OFW’s dreams of becoming self-reliant business owners who uplift their families and communities and contribute to our nation-building efforts.
Maging MATATAG tayo tungo sa isang Bansang Makabata at Batang Makabansa.