Displaced workers and returning OFWs to receive government support in starting a business

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is ready to support displaced and retrenched workers amid the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic with entrepreneurship said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.

During the Building and Entrepreneurial Society of tomorrow or BEST Bootcamp: 3A (Accept, Adapt, and Act) Program online that launched on Tuesday, December 15, Secretary Lopez said the Philippine government has various initiatives that will support those who would like to start their own business.

The DTI launched the 3A Best Bootcamp to help displaced workers and returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) start new livelihood after their jobs were being affected by the global health and economic crisis.

Lopez said this kind of program of the DTI aims to equip aspiring entrepreneurs with the right mindset as they pursue an entrepreneurial journey.

“Marami na po tayong success stories dito na nagsimula sa isang maliit na livelihood pero kapag tama ang approach, umpisa, at mindset—‘yun po talaga ang mga mahahalagang ingredients base po sa aming tinagal sa micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) development. (We have a lot of success stories here that started as a small livelihood. But when you have the right approach, start, and mindset, those are really important ingredients based on the time we spend on MSME development),” he said.

Secretary Lopez said “now is the right time” to open a business despite the pandemic since the direction of the DTI and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) is to reopen economic activities, further adding that there have been signs of economic recovery since the government gradually eased the restrictions.

“I also say that now is the right time because, amid the pandemic, we have seen signs of recovery. Parati po nating isinusulong ng DTI sa Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) ang pag-re-reopen ng economy para po makabalik muli ang mga nagtatrabaho at umikot muli ang ekonomiya. (The DTI has been pushing for the reopening of the economy in the IATF so that workers can return to their jobs and the economy can recover),” Lopez added.

Aside from giving lectures on entrepreneurship like the 3A BEST Bootcamp, DTI’s financing arm Small Business (SB) Corp. can also extend low-interest loans for aspiring entrepreneurs.

For those with existing businesses that are already running for at least one year but were affected by the pandemic, SB Corp. also provides zero-interest loan under the COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises. or the CARES program.

Lopez said around 86,000 online-related businesses have registered with the DTI as of this month, a surge from 1,600 online businesses registered in 2019.

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