The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has introduced the Helping the Economy Recover thru OFW Enterprise Start-ups (HEROES) Loan Program as part of its initiatives to support Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). This program is a collaboration between OWWA, the Small Business Corporation (SB Corporation), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
The HEROES Loan Program to Apply utilizes a Php 100-million loan facility provided by SB Corporation through the DTI’s Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) CARES Program. The aim of this lending program is to assist repatriated OFWs in rebuilding their lives by providing them with financial support to start their own businesses.
If you are an OFW who has been retrenched and is interested in starting a business upon returning to the Philippines, the HEROES Loan Program can provide the necessary funding. It offers a valuable opportunity for OFWs to kickstart their new lives back home through entrepreneurship.
What is the OWWA HEROES Loan Program
The OWWA HEROES Loan Program is a unique initiative introduced by the Philippine government to assist returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who have been displaced from their jobs due to the recent global health crisis. Launched in July 2020, this loan program is part of the P3 CARES Program administered by the DTI through the SB Corporation’s P100-million loan facility. HEROES stands for Helping the Economy Recover thru OFW Enterprise Start-ups.
The HEROES Loan Program is specifically designed to support repatriated land-based and non-professional OFWs who are interested in establishing their own businesses upon their return to the Philippines. One of its key features is that it provides a no-interest, no-collateral loan, making it accessible to a wide range of OFWs.
The primary objective of the HEROES Loan Program is to assist OFWs in rebuilding their livelihoods as new entrepreneurs. In addition to providing financial assistance through the loan, the program also offers various training and services to potential entrepreneurs. These resources cover aspects such as business setup, operation, and troubleshooting skills, aiming to equip OFWs with the necessary knowledge and capabilities to successfully run their businesses.
Overall, the HEROES Loan Program serves as a comprehensive support system for returning OFWs, enabling them to transition from being employees abroad to becoming self-employed individuals contributing to the Philippine economy.
Benefits of OWWA HEROES Loan Program
Some of the benefits that OFW returnees who will be availing of the OWWA HEROES Loan Program are as follows:
- Loan Amount: You can borrow any amount between Php 10,000.00 and Php 100,000.00, based on your business needs and eligibility.
- Zero-Interest Rate: We believe in providing fair and transparent financing options. With Peraphase, you won’t have to worry about interest charges on your loan.
- No Collateral Required: We do not require any collateral or assets to secure your loan. This makes it easier for you to access the funds you need without risking your personal or business assets.
- Service Fee Structure: For 24-month loans, there is a 6% service fee applied to the loan amount. For 36-month loans, which include a 12-month grace period, an 8% service fee is charged. These fees are a one-time payment and are included in the loan amount.
- Built-in 12-Month Grace Period: Paraphrase understands the initial challenges faced by new businesses. That’s why we offer a built-in 12-month grace period, allowing you to focus on establishing your business before starting repayment.
- Business Training and Mentoring: We believe in empowering entrepreneurs with knowledge and skills. As a Peraphase borrower, you will have access to business training and mentoring resources to enhance your entrepreneurial capabilities.
- Free Marketing and Business Operation Services: We go beyond just providing financial assistance. Paraphrase offers free marketing and business operation services to help you promote your business and improve operational efficiency.
Qualifications for OWWA HEROES Loan Program
The HEROES Loan Program is open to all repatriated OFWs provided that they satisfy the following criteria:
- Land-based OFWs returning to the Philippines due to the COVID-19 pandemic
- Non-professional OFWs who have returned to the Philippines due to layoffs caused by the COVID-19
- Repatriated and returning land-based or sea-based OFWs who want to start their own businesses
Requirements for OWWA HEROES Loan Program
When applying for the privileges offered by OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) and DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) via the HEROES Program, interested OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) must prepare the following documentary requirements:
- One (1) valid government-issued photo ID: This can be any identification document issued by the government, such as a passport, driver’s license, or national ID card.
- Scanned copy of passport: A digital copy of the applicant’s passport, which serves as proof of their identity and travel history.
- Duly accomplished HEROES Loan Application Form: The application form provided by the HEROES Program should be completed with accurate and relevant information.
- DTI Registration: The applicant should provide proof of registration with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). This registration signifies that the OFW is establishing a business or enterprise in the Philippines.
- OWWA certification or confirmation of repatriation of the OFW applicant: The OFW should obtain a certification or confirmation from the OWWA or any authorized agency stating their repatriation or return to the Philippines.
- Audio-Visual Presentation (AVP) of the Business Plan: A multimedia presentation that outlines the OFW’s business plan, including its feasibility, market analysis, financial projections, and operational details.
- Certificate of Completion (COC) for an online training session for start-ups from the Philippine Trade and Training Center (PTTC): The applicant should complete an online training session for start-ups offered by the Philippine Trade and Training Center. The COC serves as proof of completing the training.
Depending on the amount of the loan, the following additional documents may be required:
For Loans amounting to Php 10,000.00 to Php 50,000.00
- DTI Registration
- Video Business Pitch
For Loans amounting to Php 50,000.00 up to Php 100,000.00
- SEC Registration
- Municipal/Mayor’s Business Permit
- Business Model Canvas
Application Procedures for OWWA HEROES Loan Program
If you are a repatriated OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) and wish to apply for the HEROES Loan program, here is a step-by-step guide:
- Register for the HEROES program by pre-registering for the online PTTC (Philippine Trade and Training Center) training. You can do this by visiting the following link: http://bit.ly/HEROESRegistrationForm. Make sure to provide all the necessary information during the registration process, including:
- Applicant’s name
- Mobile number
- Passport number
- Email address
- Educational attainment
- Occupation as an OFW
- Return date to the Philippines
- Complete the free 3-day online training provided by the Philippine Trade and Training Center (PTTC), which is the training arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
- Once you have completed the training, prepare the following requirements for your loan application:
- A scanned copy of your passport.
- An audio-visual presentation (AVP) of your business, including the following elements:
- Nature of your business
- Product knowledge
- Management capability
- Financial understanding
- Market opportunity
- Competitive advantage
- Business continuity
- Business Model Canvas
- To proceed with your loan application, visit the following link: https://brs.sbgfc.org.ph/heroes.
- Submit the following requirements along with your application:
- One valid government-issued photo ID.
- Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) certification or proof of being a repatriated OFW.
- Audio-visual presentation (AVP) of your business plan.
- DTI registration.
- Certificate of completion of the online training session for start-ups conducted by PTTC.
- Additionally, submit any additional information as required by SB Corporation, the organization administering the HEROES Loan program.
Before proceeding with your application for the HEROES Loan Program, it is important to be aware of the following details:
- The application process begins with the OFW attending a free online training conducted by the Philippines Trade Training Center (PTTC).
- The loan funds are intended solely for use as working capital to initiate and sustain business activities.
- Both current and prospective CARES borrowers are expected to repay the loan promptly and in accordance with the provided amortization plan.
- If the loan is not repaid, SB Corporation reserves the right to pursue legal action.
- Failing to make timely repayments will result in a negative credit record.
- The maximum amount of the HEROES loan is set at P100,000.00 for each OFW borrower.
- No other government reintegration program offers livelihood loans that are interest-free and do not require collateral.
- SB Corp’s credit facility does not demand collateral or a profit track record from an ongoing business.
- Applicants are required to complete the PTTC entrepreneurship seminar, which is free of charge.
- Loan applicants must prepare a business plan and an audio-visual presentation (AVP).
- An individual mentoring session will be arranged between the OFW applicant and an experienced entrepreneur.
- SB Corp’s livelihood loan is repayable over a 24-month period, with a 12-month grace period included.
- Loan repayment commences in the 13th month of the 36-month loan duration.
Understanding the HEROES Loan Program Better
the program better, here’s an explainer
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some common questions and answers regarding the HEROES loan:
1. What is the Small Business Corporation?
The Small Business Corporation (SB Corp.) is a government-run financial institution created in January 1991 to implement and provide assistance to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in all areas of business operations.
2. How much can I borrow via the HEROES Program?
Under the HEROES Program, borrowers are offered a minimum of Php 10,000.00 and a maximum of up to P100,000.00.
3. Can I avail of the HEROES program if I’m land-based OFW?
Yes, land-based and non-professional OFWs who were forced to return to the Philippines due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic may apply in the HEROES Loan Program.
4. How many repayment options are available for the loan?
The HEROES Loan Program offers two repayment options: First, to pay the loan within a 24-month period, and second, to pay it within a 36-month period inclusive of a 12-month built-in grace period.
5. For the built-in grace period of the HEROES Loan Program, how many months are included?
According to the terms and conditions of the loan program, the built-in grace period can last for up to 12 months, or half of the loan repayment duration, whichever comes first.
6. Can I submit my application directly to the OWWA/DTI Office?
No. All applications must be done online via this link: http://bit.ly/HEROESRegistrationForm.
7. Are OFW RISE and OFW HEROES Programs one and the same?
In case you’re wondering, the answer is no. OFW RISE and OFW HEROES are not the same program. They are two different initiatives, although they were both designed to help repatriated OFWs.
The Helping the Economy Recover through OFW Enterprise Start-ups (HEROES) Program, initiated by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), aims to provide assistance to repatriated Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who wish to establish their own businesses in the Philippines. While it is a loan program that requires eventual repayment, it offers certain advantages such as being a no-collateral, no-interest loan.
The HEROES Program recognizes the challenges faced by repatriated OFWs as they reintegrate into the local economy. OWWA HEROES Loan Program By offering financial support and entrepreneurial opportunities, the program aims to help OFWs establish stable sources of livelihood and contribute to the economic recovery of the country.
Although it is important to note that the program involves a loan that needs to be repaid, the fact that it provides a no-collateral, no-interest loan option can be seen as a positive aspect. It allows repatriated OFWs to access financial assistance without the additional burden of collateral requirements or interest charges. This aspect of the program may make it more feasible for OFWs to start their own businesses and rebuild their lives in the Philippines.
To ensure the effectiveness of the HEROES Program, it is crucial that it receives adequate exposure and publicity. Increased awareness among OFWs about the existence of such a program can lead to greater participation and utilization of its benefits. By promoting the program through various channels, such as government announcements, information campaigns, and partnerships with organizations supporting OFWs, more repatriated OFWs can be reached and informed about this opportunity for assistance.
In case you wish to learn more about the OFW HEROES Loan program, you may reach out to the Small Business Corporation (SB Corp.) through the following contact information
The Small Business Guarantee and Finance Corporation (SBGFC)
Email address: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone number: (632) 8 651-3333
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BayanihanCARES/