By: Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines, Seoul

Seoul, 27 August 2020- The Philippine Embassy in Seoul has resumed the conduct of Reintegration Preparedness Seminars for Filipinos in Korea during this pandemic through its online seminar series.

Almost 200 participants attended the "Basic Financial Literacy Seminar" which was aired on 16 August 2020, and the "Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan (TNK) Seminar: Gusto mo bang mag Negosyo sa Pilipinas?" which was conducted on 24 August 2020.

According to Charge d'Affaires, a.i. Christian L. de Jesus, the Reintegration Preparedness Program has been the Embassy's flagship project for the Filipino community in Korea for many years now. "Filipinos in Korea have great potential to save, invest or become an entrepreneur, and so the Embassy is fully committed to support them by offering learning sessions on financial education and entrepreneurship development. With social distancing measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, our planned activities were temporarily put on hold. But now, thanks to technology we are able to conduct seminars again through online platform," CDA de Jesus said.

The TNK, which is spearheaded by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), provides learning sessions for OFWs who would like to become entrepreneurs. The Embassy ran four (4) sessions last year, with topics ranging from basic entrepreneurship, taxation and investment options. This year's session featured the DTI programs and Negosyo Center services for small and medium enterprises, with DTI Director Jerry Clavesillas and Director Rachel Remitio as resource persons and two (2) young entrepreneurs as guests. Participants expressed great interest in the DTI's P3 program, a collateral-free start-up-capital loan for OFWs and Kapatid Mentor Me services which are accessible to them online.

On the other hand, Vice Consul Lyza Maria Viejo of the Embassy ran the Basic Financial Literacy seminar which featured the 7-step foundational financial guide for OFWs that is both practical and realistic. The attendees said they look forward to attending succeeding sessions which will include topics on family budgeting, retirement planning and investing.

The participants expressed appreciation for the online seminars jointly conducted by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) OWWA and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Korea, in cooperation with FilCom organizations, namely Ilocanos in South Korea (ISK), Pinoy Investors sa Korea (PiNK) and Filipino Community Center in Busan (FCC).

"Malaking tulong ang ganitong programa ng DTI with partner agencies para sa mga gustong magsimula ng negosyo sa Pilipinas, lalo na sa mga OFWs na gaya ko pag mag-for-good na sa sariling bayan. Thank you DTI and POLO-KOR, nawa'y tuloy tuloy po ang ganitong activities upang lalo pa po kaming mahasa to become entrepreneurs someday," said Jayson Olipas, an EPS worker.

"The effects of the global pandemic on overseas employment compel our OFWs to consider how they should be saving and planning for their future. The Embassy and its attached agencies, in partnership with our Filipino community organizations, will continuously create opportunities for our OFWs to be better at managing their finances and to harness their potentials to become successful Filipino entrepreneurs in the future," CDA de Jesus said. END