Another favorable program for OFWs who wants to start their own business is the OWWA Tulong PUSO Program (Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-unlad ng Samahang OFWs Program). The good thing with this program is it also caters to qualified OFWs who want business expansions, otherwise those who dream to revive bankrupted businesses before. The amount that OFW groups from this program is not small financial assistance because the lowest possible grant will be P150,000.
The Department of Labor and Employment- Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (DOLE-OWWA) has allocated P300 million to OFW organizations to support livelihood projects and programs.
The livelihood assistance is a one-time grant ranging from P150,000 to P1,000,000 depending on the needs of the business project and the number of OFW organization members applying for the grant.
The DOLE-OWWA Tulong-PUSO Program is a one-time livelihood financial grant that supports the proposed business plan for both start-up and expansion of OFW Groups, which has been duly recognized by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
This is not a financial loan for OFWs, but a financial grant they can use for any preferred livelihood project they want.
This program will help the following:
- Livelihood Start-up – Starting a business venture for the very first time
- Livelihood Expansion – improvement of an existing business to grow into a viable and sustainable enterprise
- Livelihood Restoration – Allowing for the re-establishment of bankrupted business
List of Livelihood Projects for Tulong PUSO
Below are some of the preferred livelihood projects for this program:
- Product or services with viability and marketability (e.g processing of food and other consumer products)
- Industries identified as key employment generators (i.e. information technology, health and wellness, agribusiness, wholesale and retail trade, tourism, etc.)
- Usage of local resources and materials (e.g. handicraft, souvenir items, and specialty)
- Supports generation of local employment (farming, bamboo propagation, livestock, aquaculture, and manufacturing)
- Environment-friendly; preferably ‘green” products (agricultural-based products)
- Franchise (food, wellness, medical, health, and sanitary related business)
- Online selling and delivery service
- DTI priority products (i.e. cacao, coffee, coco coir, food processing, wearable, and home styles)
- Micro-sized OFW groups 5 to 10 members may avail up to a maximum of Php 150,000.00 grant
- Small-sized OFW groups of 11 to 15 members are eligible for a grant of up to Php 250,000.00.
- Medium-sized OFW groups with 16 to 30 members may apply for a grant of up to Php500,000.00.
- Large-sized OFW groups with 31 or more members are eligible for a grant of up to Php 1,000,000.00.
Both OWWA and Non-OWWA members are qualified for this program. You need to have a group with a minimum of 5 members to avail of this Tulong Puso Program.
At least eighty percent (80%) of the members of the OFW group must be OWWA members and/or their families. The remaining 20% (20%) could be made up of undocumented/illegal OFWs and/or their families.
Those who previously received Tulong Puso grants under Memorandum of Instruction No. 006, series of 2018, also known as the Guidelines and Procedures in the Implementation of the Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-Unlad ng Samahang – OFWs (Tulong Puso), will be ineligible to participate in this program.
- Completing the Application Form
- A copy of their DOLE, CDA, or SEC registration certificate
- OFW Group Profile and Members’ Profile indicating that at least 80% of the OFWs and/or their families are OWWA members and/or their families
- Audited Financial Statements, when applicable, certified by the Association/Group Treasurer and Auditor
- A certification signed by the OFW Group President identifying the names of duly authorized representatives to deal with the relevant RWO throughout the program phases (maximum of three)
- The OFW Group’s Affidavit or Undertaking on How to Manage and Grow the Business
- A business proposal and feasibility study that includes proof of equity of at least 20% in the form of available and/or existing capital assets, bank accounts/statements, and other similar proof.
How to Process Tulong PUSO Financial Assistance
Please follow the steps below on how you can sign up for this Tulong PUSO cash assistance program for OFWs.
Step 1: Complete all the necessary documentation. You need to complete all the documentation listed above before submitting your application online.
Step 2: Submit your online application form. Fill up the designated application form for the program and submit it online.
Step 3: Submit document requirements to OWWA. All requirements will be submitted to OWWA Regional Office.
Step 4: Present your business plan to OWWA Regional Office. You need to prepare a basic business plan and present it personally to OWWA Regional Office near you.
Step 5: Get cash assistance from OWWA. If all the requirements are submitted and everyone in the group is considered qualified for the program, OWWA will grant your group the cash assistance you need.
Video: Tulong PUSO Testimonials
Check out this video as uploaded on the official YouTube page of OWWA regarding updates on the Tulong PUSO project for OFWs. The clip features testimonials and real-life experiences of OFWs who have availed of this program and what they have to say about it:
Frequently Asked Questions
Please check these FAQs about the TULONG PUSO project from OWWA for your reference:
1. I’m not an OWWA member, can I still avail this Tulong PUSO program?
As per the guidelines written in this program, a non-OWWA member is free to avail of the program as long as the group consists of 80% OWWA members.
2. What does Tulong PUSO Mean?
Tulong PUSO means Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-unlad ng Samahang OFWs.
3. Can I avail this program alone if I am an OWWA member?
No, this program will be given to OFWs with at least 5 members. You cannot process your application if you are alone.
4. Can I avail this program I already have a running business?
Yes, because this program also cares about the business expansion purposes of a qualified OFW.
5. Is this Tulong PUSO a loan program?
No. Again the Tulong PUSO is a financial grant from OWWA to qualified OFW groups. They will not ask for any collateral
6. What if we have more than 5 or a large group of qualified OFWs, can we still avail of this program?
Yes, large groups can get a maximum grant of P1,000,000. This is bigger than the expected maximum grant for groups with only 5 members.
OFWs don’t need to rely on their salary and savings to build their dream business. The government has designated programs like Tulong PUSO to help them generate money without the need of going to abroad after their contract has been finished.
Just coordinate with the right people and the right government agency to successfully get what you need and what you are entitled to have. This will take some effort and group work, so make sure you are building or joining the right group.