The current menu of government attempts to offer viable local alternatives for work and income for overseas Filipino workers (OFW) has just spread another banquet-full of options for those eager stir their capital laying idle in dormant bank accounts.
Now comes Bohol OFW Negosyo Expo, a two day event wedged right smack in the middle of Sandugo festivities and the homecoming season for Boholano OFWs and locals who have carved a name inÂ business and other endeavors across the country.
Set July 5-6 at the Bohol Cultural Center, the OFW Expo will feature information on the latest innovation and trends presented in an interactive program via seminars, fora, product presentationsÂ and other activities that provide growth and business opportunities, Bohol Investment promotion Center chief Maria Fe Dominese.
Especially catered for OFWs and also for locals who are eager to invest their hard-earned savings but are still looking for viable ventures, the OFW Negosyo expo happens to be a local intervention to plug the leaking exodus of highly qualified workforce.
“The prospect of OFWs engaging into business will not only maximize the negative effects of disunited families but will definitely boost local investment and employment,” Dominese said.
The long term goal however is much more subtle.
Event organizers hope the OFW Negosyo Expo will change the pervading mindset that working abroad as a life-long endeavor in the only viable means to survive.
Bohol, home for over 20,000 OFWs who have hugely contributed to the country’s economic growth keeps a widespread and largely accepted truth: the prospect of working abroad is the only sustainable and viable way for a comfortable life.
That however has been slowly worked up, with BIPC and in partnership with the Department of trade and Industry, as well as private partners opening up venues for business facilitation and advisory services in theÂ three Negosyo Centers in Bohol.
Earlier, another venue opened with the triennial Tigum Bol-anon sa Tibuok Kalibutan, where business options are presented at the institutionalized Investment Forum as part of the TBTK events.
The move for the TBTK was among the options Bohol explored to generate sufficient capital pouring into the poverty-ravaged province then, shared then governorÂ Rene Relampagos.
After the TBTK, local business enjoyed a soaring boost, which resulted to a fast-tracked development highlighted by Bohol recording a reach into the billion peso investments years back.
But yet, the problem of out-migration remains real in Bohol, local observers have said.
With the country as among the top exporters of skilled workers and brains churning out to move economies abroad, building opportunities by laying the local infrastructure support could be a worthy move, Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry head Albert Uy said.
Boholanos are closely knit families and I think the prospect of leaving home comes as the last resort, shares a domestic helper who is currently saving to venture into a retirement venture.
She said she hopes the OFW Negosyo Expo may also offer to her and her husband who does odd jobs as a neighborhood handyman. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)