Ten months after the inception of OFW Groceria program, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported that close to 10,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families have already benefited from this livelihood and entrepreneurial development assistance service.
OFW Groceria is part of DOLE’s reintegration program for OFWs and their families aimed at providing them livelihood through an interest-free loan assistance package in the form of merchandise goods worth up to P50,000 per qualified OFW Family Circle beneficiary.
Labor and Employment Secretary Patricia A. Sto. Tomas said there were already 231 OFW Grocerias that had been set-up nationwide, benefiting 9,791 OFWs and their families.
Of these number, 36 had been set-up in Region 4-A, followed by the National Capital Region (NCR) with 35; Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), 23; and Regions 1 and six with 20 each.
But the biggest number of families that benefited from the program came from Region 1 with 1,911 families, followed by CAR with 1,911, and Region 4-A with 1,051.
Sto. Tomas said 119 more Grocerias are about to be delivered and established that would benefit 4,978 OFW families.
“This project is being implemented in our desire to improve the socio-economic condition of OFWs and their families,” Sto. Tomas said, adding that they were targeting a total of 1,000 OFW Grocerias nationwide for the first phase of the project.
Under the second phase, eligible OFW Grocerias will be granted P25,000 worth of free non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines for sale at affordable cost. This will be done in collaboration with the Department of Health (DOH).
Phase 3, on the other hand, involves loan assistance amounting from P100,000 to P1 million that will be facilitated by the National Livelihood Support Fund. Sto. Tomas has encouraged OFW families and the public to patronize the OFW Grocerias even as she urged the OFW family circles to practice good stewardship and management of stores to ensure the success of the program.