By Regina Mae Ronquillo
The nineteen participants of the Innovations for Filipinos Working Distantly from the Philippines or the iFWD PH Program of the Department of Science and Technology completed the first phase of the program, the Capability Building for the Development and Management of a Technology-based Enterprise.
These participants are the second batch of the program who started developing their capabilities last June. Of the twenty-seven participants at the beginning of their training, only nineteen have completed the program.
Under Capacity Building, qualified OFW applicants underwent a series of core business development training to prepare them to manage technology-based businesses and at the same time, help them create their business plans.
Also included in this phase is the technology pitching of innovative products that are included in the DOST’s priority areas such as food processing furniture, gifts, decors, and handicrafts, agriculture/marine/aquaculture, and metal and engineering. They can also generate products that are related to information and communication technology, pharmaceuticals and health products, and halal products.
“Let us continue to learn. So far, this is the strongest batch with a high success rate. Congratulations for surviving phase 1,” DOST Caraga Assistant Regional Director for Technical Operations said during the culmination ceremony as he thanked the Department of Trade and Industry and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration in Caraga for their unwavering support throughout the implementation of the program. Qualified OFW applicants who have completed and passed the first phase can proceed to Phase 2 where they will be given an Innovation-Enabling Fund or iFund for entrepreneurship and technical training, product development and market testing, operational consultancy services, initial laboratory testing, packaging, and labeling design and execution for marketing testing, and equipment acquisition.88