By Carlson B. Alelis
A business plan competition with a grand prize of P 500,000 is now open to seafarers nationwide, organized by the National Reintegration Center for Overseas Filipino Workers (NRCO), an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment.
Labor Attache II lawyer Jalilo dela Torre said the 2015 NRCO-ISP Business Plan Competition is held because of the importance of the seafaring community to the nation’s economy, hence, the need to encourage them to start their own business.
“We would like to recognize their dedication and their sacrifices to the economy by launching this initiative to encourage entrepreneurship among our seafarers,” he said during a press briefing for the contest held at the Sugar Workers Development Center here.
The competition is open to all active seafarers who are at least 25 years old, as well as to inactive seafarers who have been retired for at most 5 years.
Those who wish to join must submit their business plan, which includes their type of business, preferably in agriculture.
Application forms are available at NRCO’s website at www.nrco.dole.gov.ph.
Participants can join as an individual entry, by pair or by group of at least 3 seafarers.
The deadline of entries is on September 30 and the winners will be announced on December 4.
The business should be startup, which means the NRCO will not allow an existing business as an entry, according to dela Torre.
The grand prize will be P 500, 000, while four participants will be awarded with a cash prize of 50, 000 each. Five participants will also be given a consolation prize worth P 10, 000 each.
The competition is co-organized and co-sponsored by the Integrated Seafarers of the Philippines, a volunteer organization of seafarers in the country.
Dela Torre said mentoring and counseling will also be done for entries that are in need of improvement.
“After submission, if we determine that the entry still requires a lot of elaboration, we will have a one-month period where they will enjoy the services of mentoring or counseling from recognized business experts who will assist them with the business plan,” he said.
Dela Torre said that there are 400, 000 Filipinos seafarers out of the 1 million worldwide. (JSC/CBA-PIA6 Negros Occ.)
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