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 and said that “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, so of 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-pledged businessmen after winning P500,000 cash prize, namely Mr. William Gaspay, a 60-year old chief officer from Masinloc, Zambales, who won for his Seaweeds Farming entry in 2015; Ryan Mark Antiquera, 32 Able Seaman from Manito Albay for his Soft Broom Making entry in 2016; and the latest winner from 2017, Oswald Rollorazo, a 48-year-old Captain from Ignacia, Tarlac for his TMR Ruminant Feeds.

The said gathering was also the start of accepting entries and 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 to entrepreneurship, similarly to those inactive seafarers who have been in the Philippines for not more than five (5) years and interested to hop-in to business.

Participants may join the contest in solo, duo, or by group (minimum of 3 members), a Filipino citizen, 25 years of age or older.

Qualified active seafarers who wishes to join the contest but currently on-board, must have at least one official representative (must be 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 PTS.
  • Impact on the community 20 PTS.
  • Financial viability 30 PTS.
  • Clarity and presentation of the business plan 10 PTS.
  • Drive and determination of the business plan owner-entrepreneur 10 PTS.

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 this coming 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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