Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz congratulated the 10 budding entrepreneurs who made it to the finalists’ cut in the nationwide Business Plan Competition, a special project of the Department of Labor and Employment – National Reintegration Center for OFWs (DOLE-NRCO) and the Integrated Seafarers of the Philippines (ISP).


The circle of 10 is composed of William Gaspay from NCR (Seaweeds Farming); Narjun Artiaga and Sam Alfred Rubillos from Region VII (Pigs and Chicken Production); Mark Antonio Mable/Margaret Mable from Region III (Green Food Aquaphonics); Manuel Bernardo from Region IV-A (Quail Farming); Edison Batalla from Region VI (Dragon Fruit Farming); Jerome Yao from NCR (Healthy Foods Venture); Willy Dy from Region III (Organic Duck Egg Production); Agustin Bedia from Region IV (Shoes and Sandals Manufacturing); Jaime Forlales Jr. from Region III (Sinangagan Food Business); John L. Togonon from Region VI (Organic Fertilizer Production).


According to NRCO Director Chona Mantilla, the 10 finalists will be coached by seven resource persons who are considered experts in various fields of business management. The mentoring and coaching sessions will be conducted at Blas F. Ople Development Center (Old OWWA) Building, corner Solana and Victoria Streets, Intramuros, Manila.


The 10 finalists will be immersed in several learning sessions on Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Business, Business Planning, Tax and Business Registrations, Human Resource Management, Financial Management, Marketing and Sales, Leadership, Personality Development, and Presentation Skills.


The 10 shortlisted finalists, who are automatically qualified to compete for the 500 thousand pesos grand prize, are expected to further enhance their submitted entries after the mentoring sessions.


The final screening by a panel of judges, and the announcement and awarding of winners is on 4 December 2015.


Apart from the grand prize, four consolation prize winners will receive 50 thousand pesos, while the rest of the finalists will receive 10 thousand pesos each.


“We are happy and grateful to note that the coaches have committed to offer their services for free, for at least five months, beginning January to May 2016, to further guide the top 10 winners in the incipient implementation of their micro-business. That will be a very valuable opportunity for these seafarers-OFW entrepreneurs to learn the rudiments of business implementation, straight from the experts,” Baldoz said.


The 2015 NRCO-ISP Business Plan Competition was conceptualized to provide opportunities for returning seafarers to convert their ideas into a business plan and win cash prizes, which they can use as seed capital to start their own business. As a special project of the DOLE-NRCO and ISP, the business ventures that will be derived from the competition are also expected to generate jobs in the respective hometowns of the seafarer-OFWs and their families.



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