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Sec. Proceso Alcala and Gov. Alfonso Umali Jr. lead the launching of the savings and investment mobilization movement for OFWs in United Arab Emirates

Sec. Proceso Alcala, of the Department of Agriculture,  Gov. Alfonso Umali Jr, H. E. Ambassador Grace Princesa,  together with  representatives  of OWWA and Atikha, a NGO working for OFWs leads the International Launching of the Pinoy WISE movement on November 23, 2012 at the Abu Dhabi National Theater.  Pinoy WISE movement is a network of national and local government agencies, migrant organizations, non-government organizations, cooperatives, banks and companies which converge their initiatives to support the financial education and address family concerns of migrants and families. It also aims to promote investment, trade and eco-tourism of provinces of origin of overseas Filipinos.   The event in UAE is coordinated by the Philippine Embassy and Bayanihan, a network of more than 40 migrant organizations in UAE.  There event will start with a launching program in the morning and parallel events in the afternoon to include exhibits, meeting with the provincial government, agri-business opportunity seminar and counselling.

The theme of the event is “Engaging Migrants in Agriculture Development”.  The Department of Agriculture saw the potential of investment in agriculture in the Philippines that can be offered to Overseas Filipinos.  It has packaged services that will assist the OFWs in identifying agri-business opportunities, training and market linkage.

Pinoy WISE event in UAE will showcase the agri-business opportunities, products and eco/agro-tourism destination of 6 provinces, namely,  Oriental Mindoro, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Antique and Masbate.  The participating provinces will be led by Governor Alfonso Umali Jr., the president of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines.  For the first time the local government units in the Philippines are actively participating in packaging province specific agri-business opportunities that can be provided to the Overseas Filipinos who are looking at setting up enterprises in the Philippines.   The provincial government are looking at leveraging their own  resources to attract the investment of OFWs.

To make the event more fun and exciting  the Department of Agriculture (DA) will  raffle 5 Agri-Kabuhayan prizes  worth Php 25,000 .  Other prizes are also going to be provided by the sponsors. Whoever wins will get free training and marketing  assistance from the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service Department.  Surpise gifts await the first 200 early registrants.

Other participants of the Pinoy WISE events is Atikha, lead by its executive director, Mai Dizon Anonuevo  will showcase the various programs of their NGO for OFWs including financial literacy training and counselling.  Books written by children of OFWs as well as teachers training  materials on value formation for children will also be shown during the event. Investment opportunities of agri-based cooperatives will be presented by  Soro-soro Ibaba Development Cooperative (SIDC) lead by its chairperson of the Board, Dr. Angelito Bagui and General Manager, Rico Geron.  Another successful cooperative, CAFFMACO lead by its Asst Manager, Imelda Ambrad will present cooperative investment in Cavite.   Concrete success stories of investment in agri-business  such as Nanay Tuneng  represented by its CEO, Isabel Warren will also join the event and exhibit.   DBP, Landbank and SSS will also present  its  programs for OFWs.

Pinoy WISE has already initiated its activities in UAE since February 2011  through the  financial literacy seminar  lead by the DFA, OWWA and Bayanihan in cooperation with Atikha.  More than 650 participants have been involved in the training program.  They have learned budgeting, financial planning, saving, investing, borrowing and addressing family issues that drain their resources .   Most of them are looking for investment opportunities in the Philippines.  As some of the migrants mentioned,  this event and the Pinoy WISE program in UAE  is very timely.

The sponsors who supported the Pinoy WISE event in UAE are Etihad, the official airline of Pinoy WISE, Xpress Money and Megaworld International.

Entrance to the Pinoy WISE International Launching Event is free but entrance ticket is required.  Tickets can be secured from the following:

1.Ernesto “Boy\’ Refugio – 050-6169870
2. Vangie Junio – 050-6681718
3. Vivien Napenas – 050 – 7713810
4. Bal Junio – 050-4468121
5. Ollie Pineda – 050-4751984
6. Vice Consul Norman Padalhin – 050-1345259

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