ZAMBOANGA CITY – Twenty one (21) overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) received livelihood starter kits under the Balik Pinas Balik Hanapbuhay (BPBH) program of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) on May 24 & 26, 2017, this City.

The awarding of starter kits was facilitated by Mark Teody Bidad, AO-V/Accountant and assisted by Shedra S. Ayaz, Khalil Isser S. Lorena, both Family Welfare Officers and Fatima Jane Salihuddin, Labor Communication Officer of OWWA9.

The beneficiaries received various livelihood starter kits depending on what business they choose to venture in. These kits include equipment such as sewing machines, burger stand and materials for baking and cooking. The recipients need only to submit a Business Plan for their desired business and attend the Financial Literacy Training. The training aims to: (1) Equip the participants with management skills in business and (2) Encourage participants to engage in self-employment in lieu of overseas work.

Recipients are especially grateful to OWWA9 for the assistance. “This kit will really help me change my life”, said Jijang Aradi, a recipient of the BPBH Program.

Balik Pinas Balik Hanapbuhay! Program is a package of livelihood assistance/support intended to provide immediate relief to returning OWWA members, active or non-active who were: (1) displaced by hostilities or wars/political conflicts, policy reforms or changes by host governments; (2) victims of illegal recruitment or human trafficking or other distressful situations; (3) distressed wards at the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Resource Centers who are due for repatriation; and (4) repatriated OWWA-members who were employed by foreign employers which are beset with financial difficulties due to economic conditions.

(END/Fatima Jane G. Salihuddin, OWWA9)

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