For its fourth fruitful years, the Integrated Seafarers of the Philippines (ISP), together with the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) has launched anew its Business Plan Competition which intends to arm returning seafarers to venture into social entrepreneurship.

In a simple gathering last May 18, 2018 at the Labor Governance Learning Center in Intramuros, Manila, ISP President Capt. Gaudencio Morales spearheaded the presentation saying, “They are doing this to gear up returning seafarers in securing their family’s future, since seafarer has no ‘forever’.”

“We would like to produce seafarers who can make a difference upon their reintegration, just like what we sow during the past three years. This is our way in arming them in securing their future, and their families,” Morales said.

Likewise, NRCO OIC-Director Roel B. Martin has encouraged the returning seafarers to join the said contest, since it has already produced seafarer entrepreneurs who have established income-generating jobs in their respective hometowns.

Since 2015, the contest has turned three returning seafarers into full-fledged businessmen after winning P500,000 cash prize, namely Mr. William Gaspay, 60, chief officer from Masinloc, Zambales, who won for his Seaweeds Farming entry in 2015; Ryan Mark Antiquera, 32, an able seaman from Manito Albay for his Soft Broom Making entry in 2016; and the latest winner in 2017, Oswald Rollorazo, 48, a captain from Ignacia, Tarlac for his TMR Ruminant Feeds.

The said gathering was also the start of accepting entries. The deadline is on September 2, 2018. The competition is open to active seafarers preferably those who are planning to retire from sea life and mulling the idea of entrepreneurship, similarly to those inactive seafarers who have been in the Philippines for not more than five years and interested to hop in to business.

Participants may join the contest in solo, duo, or by group (minimum of three members), must be a Filipino citizen, 25 years of age or older.

Qualified active seafarers who wish to join the contest but are currently on board must have at least one official representative (must be an immediate family member) to handle all the tasks and activities required by the competition.

Winners will be also based on the following criteria:
• Content of the plan including social business idea and purpose – 30 points
• Impact on the community – 20 points
• Financial viability – 30 points
• Clarity and presentation of the business plan – 10 points
• Drive and determination of the business plan owner-entrepreneur – 10 points

The grand winner of the 2018 NRCO-ISP Business Plan of the Year will get P500,000 cash prize, to be announced in an awarding ceremony on November 9, 2018.
Attendees in the said launch includes Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac; OWWA Deputy Administrator Arnel Ignacio; Ople Center Chief Susan “Toots” Ople and other maritime stakeholders.

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