More Filipino seafarers and their immediate family members will again have the chance to establish their own businesses and take home as much as P500,000 as the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) launched the fourth business plan competition.

Dubbed “From Seafarers to Entrepreneurs: The 2018 NRCO-ISP Business Plan Competition (Harnessing Seafarers Capacities for Business Enterprises Development),” the competition aims to encourage returning sea-based OFW to pursue their dream businesses and provide sustainable livelihood for their families and employees. The project is a joint undertaking with the Integrated Seafarers of the Philippines (ISP).

“We intend to discover future leaders and hone the skills of our seafarers so they can make a difference in our country and become founders of their own businesses. Aside from elevating their status of living, our seafarers can also provide decent and sustainable job opportunities for our kababayans,” NRCO officer-in-charge Roel Martin said during the launch at the DOLE office in Manila.

NRCO is an attached agency of the labor department.

The competition also aims to support the growth of jobs in the communities. The best NRCO – ISP Business Plan of the Year will be awarded a grand cash prize of Php 500,000.00; First Runner-up will receive Php 100,000.00; the Second, Third and Fourth Runners-up will have Php 50,000.00 each; while the remaining finalists will not go home empty-handed because they will receive, Php 20,000.00 each as consolation prize.

In November 2017, Oswald Rollorazo, a 48 years old maritime captain won the best business plan for his TMR Ruminant Feeds in Sta. Ignacia, Tarlac.

The competition is open to individuals, pairs or groups (minimum of 3 members) of active seafarers, preferably those who are planning to retire from sea life and are interested to venture into entrepreneurship. Also eligible to join are inactive seafarers who have been in the Philippines for not more than five years and interested to pursue entrepreneurial activities.

NRCO has started accepting applicants and business plans for the competition last May 18. The deadline for submission of entries is on September 7, 2018.

The submitted business plans will undergo a thorough screening and evaluation process to come up with a shortlist of finalists, while the chosen winners will be announced during an awarding ceremony on November 9, 2018.

Interested OFW seafarers may download the entry form, and check for further information and details about the competition at the NRCO website: www.nrco.dole.gov.ph; www.isp.org.ph; and on the NRCO official facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NRCOCentral/.

#Paul Ang

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