DOLE’s reintegration program for distressed OFWs

Departmental Administrative Order No. 120, series of 2016, or the Guidelines on the Implementation of Balik Pinay, Balik Hanapbuhay, was recently signed to effectively expand the employment and economic opportunities of distressed women overseas Filipino workers.

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“The DOLE Balik Pinay, Balik Hanapbuhay (BPBH) is a combination of training and production intervention program to provide distressed women OFWs with livelihood skills to improve their socioeconomic well-being by expanding their employment and economic opportunities,” said Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz.

Under the administrative order, Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) personnel shall prepare all distressed women OFWs for productive reintegration to the country.

The POLO personnel shall complete on-site processing of all requirements for entitlement to BPBH program; train the BPBH beneficiaries on their preferred livelihood skills and on the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and business planning; and ensure the submission of business plan as a requirement for graduation and issuance of certification. [Learn more about the process]

“Skills training for identified livelihood shall be conducted through TESDA and other accredited training institutions,” said Baldoz.

History of the program

The NRCO has reported that in 2015, the Balik Pinay, Balik Hanapbuhay Project provided livelihood starter kits and financial assistance amounting to 14.5 million to 1,456 OFW beneficiaries. From 2011 to 2014, the program provided livelihood starter kits worth P42.36 million to 4,236 beneficiaries.

The program was institutionalized under DOLE Administrative Order No. 77, series of 2011, to assist returning OFWs through livelihood grants of P10,000. Priority is given to victims of illegal recruitment and trafficking, and other distressed and displaced household service workers.

Returning women OFWs may avail of skills training and grants in the form of business starter kits for home-based income generating occupations, such as cosmetology, haircutting, foot spa, food processing, massage, reflexology, baking, native snack preparation, handicraft, flower arrangement, dress making, beauty care, and pedicure and manicure. The business starter kits come in the form of equipment, tools and jigs, raw materials, and small start-up capital.

[Read the full story]

—From the Department of Labor and Employment