OWWA at Your Service: OFW Salon Business with Balik Pinas! Project

In this episode of OWWA at Your Service, Deputy Administrator of OWWA, Mocha Uson, visited Marilou Oliver, an Overseas Filipino Worker from Qatar who took advantage of the Balik Pinas, Balik Hanapbuhay program by OWWA and she was able to set up her salon business.

This episode was uploaded on July 30, 2021, and DA Mocha requested Marilou to share her story about her previous job in Qatar, why she thought of going back home to the Philippines at this time of the pandemic, and what she did with the money from OWWA.

DA Uson started the interview and questioned Marilou about how she was after arriving in the Philippines. Marilou is very and happy as can be seen during the interview. Marilou went back to her hometown in Marinduque because of the crisis, and now, she is managing her own business.

ofw abroad goes home to philippines negosyo
Image: screenshot from OWWA Official FB Page

OWWA Interview with former Qatar OFW who Set Up Salon Business as her Livelihood

Marilou went back to the Philippines because the restaurant she worked in Qatar closed down. Her boss sent her back to her country. She said that last year, 2020, she was here in Marinduque and established a salon. The PHP 20,000 that she received from OWWA helped in her business. And with the mercy of God, her business became in demand.

The cash that Marilou received from OWWA was the Balik Pinas Balik Hanapbuhay Livelihood Program award worth 20,000 pesos. On top of that, she also received 10,000 pesos from DOLE AKAP assistance.

“So, what was your plan? Are you leaving, or are you all good here?” DA Uson asked. Marilou replied: “No, I won’t go back (to Qatar) because I’m happy here in the Philippines. Why should I leave if it is possible to work here in my own country and build my own business?”

Marilou advises her fellow OFWs that if they are abroad, they should keep saving for business. She also advised that if their is no need to work abroad, then try not to, especially if they have families here. It’s difficult if they leave their families and loved ones behind.

Being with your family here in the Philippines will make you happier so consider having a source of income that can also be manageable. If putting up a business is your passion, go with the business which is truly in your heart. And eventually, it will be successful because you love doing it.

owwa entrepreneur former ofw
Marilou Oliver, former OFW in Qatar, now a businesswoman
Image: screenshot from OWWA Official FB Page

What is the Balik Pinas Balik Hanapbuhay Program?

This episode emphasized a specific program from OWWA called the Balik Pinas Balik Hanapbuhay Program.

The Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay! Program is livelihood support or assistance intended to give immediate relief to returning member-OFWs that was misplaced. The award under this program is amounting to a maximum Php 20,000.00 as a start-up or additional capital. This is to enable OFWs to start or manage a livelihood in their own community.

former qatar ofw becomes owwa entrepreneur
Marilou’s company in Qatar closed so she had to go home.
Image: screenshot from OWWA Official FB Page

What are the Steps in Applying for Balik Pinas Balik Hanapbuhay Program?

Below are the steps on how to apply to Balik Pinas Balik Hanapbuhay Program

  1. Submit the requirements to your nearest OWWA Regional Office in your area.
  2. Get your schedule for the Entrepreneurial Development Training seminar.
  3. Fill out a business plan and submit your requirements to the OWWA regional office.
  4. The last step is waiting for your approval from OWWA.
owwa visits marinduque former ofw livelihood
Marilou’s salon business in the Philippines. She was able to get the Balik Pinas! project and also get OWWA’s DOLE-AKAP assistance.
Image: screenshot from OWWA Official FB Page

What are the Requirements of Balik Pinas?

To push through with your application for the program, these are the requirements according to the official website of OWWA:

  1. Application Form (with Undertaking that the cash assistance will be used solely for self-employment or for starting or expansion of livelihood project or business)
  2. Certificate of Entrepreneurial Development Training
  3. Business Plan/Proposal approved by RWO Director indicating sustainability/feasibility of the chosen livelihood undertaking
  4. Proof of repatriation or return to the Philippines (passport or travel documents, airline ticket)

If you are an OFW and want to become a member of OWWA’s BPBH program, we hope that the information above might help you.

owwa salon business
Marilou’s salon business in Marinduque
Image: screenshot from OWWA Official FB Page

OWWA Helps Former OFW to Set up Salon Livelihood Business

OWWA helped Marilou and her family in their journey to success. Marilou was very thankful to OWWA and to all who gave help to her. This is just one of the many instances where OWWA helps OFWs to bounce back from their fall downs.

And to all OFW, please renew your OWWA membership. You can use the OWWA mobile application, and you can pay for it with the help of your relatives. There’s always an option if you can’t pay your membership fee by yourself. You can ask your family members who are in the Philippines to do it for you.

We hope this episode can inspire you if you want to back to your home country and stay. After all, it is great that there are many OWWA projects like this that aims to help Pinoys abroad set up their own business, or get a scholarship, or even just have cash assistance in times of need.

Video: Interview with Marilou, Former OFW in Qatar, Balik Pinas Availee

Kumusta Kabayan! Narito muli ang OWWA AT YOUR SERVICE, para sa mga waging kwento ng ating mahal na OFW. Sa pagkakataon na ito, nakapanayam namin ang dating OFW at ngayo’y isang business woman na si Marilou Oliver, na isa na ngayong proud na Salon owner.
Alamin natin ang kanyang waging kwento.

Isa si Marilou sa mga natanggalan ng trabaho dahil sa pandemiya. Nagtrabaho si Marilou sa isang restaurant sa Qatar, ngunit sa kasagsagan ng pandemiya noong 2020 ay nagsara ang kanilang restaurant at siya’y pinauwi ng Pilipinas.
Dahil distressed/displaced si Marilou, isa siya sa nabigyan ng Balik PInas! Balik Hanapbuhay Program livelihood assistance na worth PHP 20,000.00 para makapagsimula ng negosyo. Makakatulong ito lalo’t ngayong may pandemiya. Isa din si Marilou sa nakatanggap ng DOLE-AKAP na worth PHP 10,000.00
Para kay Marilou, hindi na siya aalis pa ng bansa ngayong nakapagpatayo na siya ng Salon. Advice din ni Marilou sa kanyang kapwa na OFW na mag-ipon habang sila ya kumikita para makapagsimula sila ng negosyong napupusuan nila.
Para sa gustong mag-avail sa Region 4B ng Tulong PUSO o iba pang OWWA programs and services, mangyaring tumungo lang sa:
OWWA Region IV-B
9th Flor, Marc 2000 Tower,
1973 San Andres Street,
Malate Manila
1004 Metro Manila


Please check out the transcription below of the conversation between DA Mocha and OWWA Member Marilou Oliver about her salon negosyo courtesy of OWWA:

MARILOU OLIVER (Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay Beneficiary)

Mocha: Kasama po natin ngayon dating OFW sa Qatar si Maam Marilou, Marilou kamusta kana?

Marilou: Okay lang po, masayang masaya po.

Mocha: Si Maam Marilou ay umuwi ng pilipinas dahil sa pandemya at ngayon eto na nga may negosyo na siya. Paki kwento naman po ang inyong istorya.

Marilou: Actually ako pa isang OFW nagtatrabaho ako sa Qatar and yon nga dahil pandemya nga, pinauwi po ako ng boss ko dahil nagclose yung aming restaurant na pinagtatrabahuhan. So ngayon 2020 nandito na ako umuwi na ako sa Marinduque and ngayon po nagtayo po ako ng isang salon at yung natanggap ko po sa OWWA na 20,000 ay nakatulong din po sa akin dito sa tinayo ko na salon at sa ngayon po sa awa ng Diyos malakas po ang aking salon.

Mocha: Yung natanggap ni maam na tulong galing sa OWWA ay ang Balik Pinas Balik Hanpbuhay Livelihood Program worth 20,000 pesos at siyempre nakatanggap din si Maam ng DOLE akap na 10,000 pesos.

Mocha: Oh ano maam ano ang plano? Aalis ka pa ba o dito na for good na tayo dito.

Marilou: Hindi na po ako aalis, kasi masaya po ako dito sa Pilipinas, bakit pa po ako aalis kung pwede naman pong magtrabaho dito sa sarili kong bansa at magtayo ng sariling negosyo.

Mocha: Maam Marilou, mensahe mo nalang sa kapwa mo OFW, posible bang magtayo ng negosyo, ano ang maipapayo mo sa kanila?

Marilou: Ang maipapayo ko po kung nasa abroad pa yung iba, mag keep kayo ng pera para sa negosyo at wag na po kayo umalis para makasama po ninyo yung pamilya nyo kasi mas masarap kung ano yung nasa heart mo na pwede mong itayong negosyo yun po yung gawin ninyo. So mas maganda kung ano yung nasa heart mo yun yung itayo mong negosyo para mas umunlad po kasi nandon yung puso nyo.

Mocha: Nakatulong ba sa inyo ang OWWA Maam?

Marilou: Opo, nakatulong po ang OWWA sa amin, so nagpapasalamat po ako sa OWWA at sa lahat ng mga tumulong po.

Mocha: Kaya paalala po sa ating mga mahal na OFW mag renew ng inyong OWWA membership pwede nyo gamitin ako OWWA mobile app at pwede nyo ring pabayaran sa inyong mga kamag anak. Dahil sa OWWA ang miyembro, protektado!

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