The National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO), an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), together with the Integrated Seafarers of the Philippines (ISP), awarded seafarer Ryan Mark Antiquera with P500,000 for bagging the title, "2016 BUSINESS PLAN OF THE YEAR" during the recently concluded NRCO-ISP Business Plan Competition. Held at the Century Park Hotel in Manila, the final round of the competition saw the 10 finalists present their business proposals before a panel of judges to determine who among them deserves the half a million cash prize to turn his or her dream business into reality. For this year's competition, which is dubbed, "From Seafarers to Entrepreneurs: The 2016 NRCO-ISP Business Plan Competition (Harnessing Seafarers' Capacities for Business Enterprises Development)," the finalists were shortlisted from a total of 41 competition entries received from June to August, followed by screenings in September, and mentoring in October. The 'walis tambo' business proposal, which was presented by Ryan Mark's parents, Freddie and Elsa, stood out among the finalists. Aside from its simplicity and practicality, the proposal also lives up to the competition's objective of encouraging seafarers to become entrepreneurs and at the same time support the growth of jobs in the localities. Aside from the cash prize courtesy of ISP, NRCO Director Chona Mantilla said that Ryan Mark and his parents, who are from the Bicol region, will get assistance in availing business registration and other services from their local government unit. The remaining nine finalists, on the other hand, received consolation prizes ranging from P20,000 to P100,000 sponsored by various seafaring and manning agencies. In second place was Jackie Lou Abejaron from Region 9 who was awarded with P100,000 for her "hermosa weaving" business proposal. The Industry Choice Awardees, who received P50,000.00 each were Ma. Socorro Nonato from the National Capital Region (NCR) for her organic farming proposal; Michaelle Legaspi from Region 4A for his "crickets as alternative to meat" proposal; and Juncel Rosal from Region 11 for his hog integrated business proposal. The remaining finalists, who received P20,000 each were: Angelo John Carlo Cruz from NCR for his poultry farming proposal; Karen Anastacio from Region 9 for her quail raising, native pig farming, and cow lending proposal; Mitchelle Bringas from Region 11 for her integrated farming of butterfly garden along with vermiculture, plants, and other animals proposal; Zelda Into and group from Region 7 for their coco products proposal; and Nydia Delfin from Region 5 for her proposal on producing and selling naturally-grown rice, ducks, and eggs through integrated rice-duck farming system. During the event, the 'Gabay ng Pamilyang Marino' handbook was also launched. Published and distributed by ISP for free, it contains relevant and practical information for seafarers, their families, and would-be seafarers. NRCO Director Mantilla encouraged seafarers aspiring to stay in the country for good to start their own business by joining the competition next year. She cited the successful story of 2015 Business Plan of the Year awardee, William Gaspay for his seaweeds farming project proposal which is now operational in Masinloc, Zambales. For more information on the NRCO-ISP Business Plan Competition, please visit www.facebook.com/dole.nrco, www.nrco.dole.gov.ph, www.isp.org.ph, and www.facebook.com/isphilippines.
Source: Philippine Information Agency