The DOLE-OWWA Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-unlad ng Samahang OFWs (Tulong PUSO) Program is a one-time livelihood financial grant aimed at supporting OFW organizations or groups in establishing and expanding their proposed businesses. The main objective of the program is to assist distressed member OFWs in remaining in the country and starting their own ventures. The initiative was developed through a collaboration between the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The Tulong PUSO program, officially known as “OWWA Tulong PUSO: Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-unlad ng Samahang OFWs,” was established to address the difficulties encountered by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic upon their repatriation to the Philippines. Recognizing the need for assistance in their reintegration process, the program was initiated to offer financial support and resources to aid OFWs in rebuilding their lives and contributing to Philippine society.
The primary objective of the Tulong PUSO program is to provide OFW organizations or groups with grants that can be utilized to jumpstart or enhance their business proposals. By doing so, the program seeks to promote entrepreneurship and self-sustainability among OFWs, empowering them to establish livelihood projects that can generate income and support their families.
Through the financial assistance provided by the Tulong PUSO program, OFW organizations are given the opportunity to explore various business ventures or expand existing ones. The grants can be utilized for acquiring equipment, supplies, or capital necessary for their proposed enterprises. Moreover, the program also offers capacity-building initiatives and training programs to enhance the entrepreneurial skills of OFWs, enabling them to effectively manage their businesses and increase their chances of success.
By supporting the economic ventures of OFWs, the Tulong PUSO program contributes to the overall development and prosperity of both the individuals and their communities. It not only helps OFWs achieve financial stability but also encourages the growth of local economies through job creation and increased economic activity.
The Tulong PUSO program serves as a testament to the Philippine government’s commitment to assist and empower OFWs in their journey towards successful reintegration into Philippine society. By providing the necessary resources and fostering an entrepreneurial spirit, the program plays a vital role in enabling OFWs to overcome the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and achieve sustainable livelihoods for themselves and their families.
To provide a comprehensive understanding of the Tulong PUSO program, the following information outlines its offerings, qualifications, requirements, eligibility criteria, step-by-step application process, and other important details:
- Offerings: The program provides a one-time financial grant to eligible OFW organizations or groups, which can be utilized for starting or expanding their businesses.
- Qualifications: To be eligible for the Tulong PUSO program, the applicant organization or group must meet the following criteria:
- Must be an organization or group composed of OFWs with a common livelihood project proposal.
- Must be a duly registered association or cooperative with either the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) or the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
- Requirements: The required documents for the application process may include, but are not limited to:
- Accomplished Tulong PUSO Application Form.
- Proof of registration with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) or Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
- Project proposal, including a detailed business plan.
- Other supporting documents as specified by the program guidelines.
- Eligibility: Distressed OFWs who are members of the applicant organization or group should meet the following criteria:
- Must have undergone distress or involuntary displacement due to the pandemic or other related crises.
- Must be active members of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) as verified by the OWWA Membership Processing Center.
- Application Process: The step-by-step method of applying for the Tulong PUSO program typically involves the following stages:
- Secure and accomplish the Tulong PUSO Application Form.
- Prepare and compile all required documents and supporting papers.
- Submit the complete application package to the nearest OWWA Regional Welfare Office (RWO).
- Await the evaluation and processing of the application.
- If approved, the financial grant will be released to the organization or group.
- Important Information: It is crucial to stay updated with the latest guidelines, announcements, and instructions from the DOLE-OWWA regarding the Tulong PUSO program. Regularly check their official websites, social media platforms, or contact their respective offices for accurate and current information.
What is Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-unlad ng Samahang OFWs (Tulong – PUSO)
The Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-unlad ng Samahang OFWs (Tulong PUSO) is a collaborative reintegration program launched by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The program aims to support repatriated, distressed and displaced Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who aspire to improve their lives through entrepreneurship.
Tulong PUSO primarily focuses on assisting micro, small, medium, and large OFW groups and organizations composed of 5-10, 11-15, 16-30, and 31 or more members, respectively. These groups often face challenges in continuing their overseas employment due to crises or employment issues.
The key objective of the program is to provide comprehensive business guidance to OFWs and equip them with the necessary resources to establish and sustain livelihood projects that have viable and sustainable income-generation potential. This support includes not only financial capital but also materials, tools, and equipment required for their chosen ventures.
Under the Tulong PUSO Program, applicants can get support to fund the following business activities:
- Livelihood Start-up
Funds from the Tulong PUSO program can be used to fund the formation and start of a business undertaking.
- Livelihood Expansion
The cash grant can also help fund the enhancement of existing business undertakings, so it may grow an existing business into a viable and sustainable enterprise.
- Livelihood Restoration
With the assistance of the DOLE-OWWA Tulong PUSO Program, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have the opportunity to revive their lost or damaged businesses. The program provides support in funding various livelihood endeavors, specifically those associated with the following criteria:
- Marketable Product or Services: The Tulong PUSO program offers financial aid for businesses that offer products or services with a significant market demand.
- Environment-Friendly (Preferably “Green” Products): The program encourages funding for businesses that promote environmental sustainability. Preference is given to enterprises that produce or provide eco-friendly products or services.
- Products Made from Local/Indigenous Resources/Materials: Businesses utilizing local or indigenous resources/materials in their production processes are eligible for assistance through the Tulong PUSO program. This helps in supporting local industries and preserving cultural heritage.
- Inherited or Generational Local Employment Activities: The program supports businesses that continue traditional or generational local employment activities. These could include traditional crafts, local trades, or other longstanding community-based occupations.
- Franchise Business: The Tulong PUSO program offers funding for franchise businesses, allowing OFWs to invest in established and successful business models.
- Online Selling and Delivery Service: In recognition of the growing digital economy, the program supports businesses engaged in online selling and delivery services. This includes e-commerce ventures and other internet-based platforms.
- Industries That Qualify as Key Employment Generators: The Tulong PUSO program provides financial assistance to industries that have the potential to generate significant employment opportunities. These industries are crucial for economic growth and job creation.
- DTI-Priority Products: The program prioritizes funding for businesses involved in the production or sale of products that are deemed as a priority by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). These products may vary depending on the current economic priorities and market demands.
Benefits of Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-unlad ng Samahang OFWs (Tulong – PUSO)
The Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-unlad ng Samahang OFWs Program, also known as Tulong PUSO, is a project by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). Its primary objective is to provide various benefits to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). These benefits include:
- One-time Financial Grant: The amount of the grant is determined based on the size of the OFW groups. The grant amounts are as follows:
- Micro-sized OFW Groups (1-5 members) can receive a maximum grant of Php 150,000.00.
- Small-sized OFW Groups (11-20 members) are eligible for a maximum grant of Php 250,000.00.
- Medium-sized OFW Groups (21-30 members) can receive a maximum grant of Php 500,000.00.
- Large-sized OFW Groups (31 or more members) are eligible for a maximum grant of Php 1,000,000.00.
- Business Guidance: Tulong PUSO provides assistance to OFWs in developing a robust business plan. This guidance aims to equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills to establish successful enterprises.
- Support for Business Materials, Tools, and Equipment: In addition to financial assistance, Tulong PUSO offers support to OFWs by providing supplementary resources for their businesses. This includes the necessary materials, tools, and equipment required to establish and operate their ventures effectively.
Qualifications for Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-unlad ng Samahang OFWs (Tulong – PUSO)
To qualify for the Tulong PUSO Program, OFW Groups should meet the following criteria:
The requirements for an OFW group to be eligible for the mentioned program are as follows:
- Registration: The OFW group must be duly registered with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This ensures that the group operates legally and complies with the necessary regulations.
- Minimum Number of Members: The group should have a minimum of five (5) members. This minimum number ensures that there is a sufficient collective effort to support the program’s objectives.
- OWWA Membership: At least eighty percent (80%) of the group’s members must be considered as members of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) or their families. OWWA membership indicates that the majority of the group’s members are actively employed overseas or have family members who are overseas workers.
- Undocumented/irregular OFWs: The remaining twenty percent (20%) of the group’s members may consist of undocumented/irregular OFWs and/or their families. This allows for inclusion of those who may not have legal documentation but still require support.
- Distressed or Repatriated OFWs: The beneficiary of the program must be a distressed or repatriated OFW who aims to permanently stay in the Philippines. This requirement focuses on providing assistance to those who have faced challenging circumstances while working abroad and have made the decision to return to the Philippines for good.
- Exclusion of Previous Tulong PUSO Grant Recipients: Individuals who have previously received Tulong PUSO grants are not eligible to avail of the benefits of this program again. This exclusion helps ensure that the program’s resources are distributed to a wider range of beneficiaries and that individuals do not repeatedly receive assistance from the same program
To apply for the Tulong PUSO Program, grant applicants are required to prepare the following documents:
- Duly accomplished Tulong PUSO Application Form: This form can be obtained from the concerned OWWA Regional Welfare Office (RWO) or downloaded from their official website. It must be completed with accurate and up-to-date information.
- Registration certificates issued by DOLE, CDA, or SEC: Applicants must provide valid registration certificates from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), or Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to establish the legal existence of their organization or business.
- OFW Group Profile and Members’ Profile: This document should include information about the OFW group, such as its purpose, activities, and membership composition. It should indicate that at least 80% of the members are either OWWA members or their family members.
- Audited Financial Statements: If applicable, the audited financial statements of the association or group should be provided. These statements should be certified by the Association/Group Treasurer and Auditor. Audited financial statements provide a comprehensive overview of the organization’s financial position and performance.
- Certification signed by the OFW Group President: The OFW Group President should issue a certification indicating the names of authorized representatives who will be dealing with the concerned OWWA Regional Welfare Office (RWO) throughout the program. A maximum of three representatives can be authorized.
- Affidavit of Undertaking: This document, executed by the OFW Group, outlines how they plan to manage and grow the business. It should detail the strategies, goals, and responsibilities of the group in relation to the Tulong PUSO Program.
- Business Proposal and Feasibility Study: Applicants must submit a business proposal and feasibility study for the project they are seeking funding for. The proposal should include a detailed plan, market analysis, financial projections, and proof of equity of at least 20%. The equity can be demonstrated through available and/or existing capital assets or bank accounts/statements.
Tulong PUSO Application Procedure
Once the requirements are ready, the application process for the Tulong PUSO grant can already be initiated. To do so, simply follow these steps:
Personal Appearance via the OWWA RWO
To apply for assistance from OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration), please follow the steps below:
- Fill out the application form online: Visit the OWWA website at https://tulongpuso.owwa.gov.ph/OWWA and complete the application form. Make sure to fill in all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). Once you have filled out the form on the first page, click “Next” to proceed.
- Complete the forms and submit: After filling out all the necessary information, complete the remaining forms and click “Submit” to finalize your application.
- Schedule an appointment: Use the OWWA Online Appointment System at appointment.owwa.gov.ph or access the OWWA Mobile App to set up an appointment with your preferred OWWA Regional Welfare Office (RWO).
- Submit the required documents: Prepare the necessary document requirements and submit them to the nearest OWWA office. These documents may include your application form, proof of business registration, identification documents, and other relevant paperwork.
- Receive a receipt or reference number: Upon submitting your application form and documents, an OWWA officer will provide you with a receipt, acknowledgment, or reference number. Make sure to save this number as you may need it for future reference.
- Attend Tulong PUSO webinars: Participate in the Tulong PUSO Pre-Orientation and Pre-Social Preparation webinars. These webinars are designed to provide guidance and assistance in preparing for your business venture.
- Present your business plan: Prepare your business plan and present it to the OWWA Regional Review Committee. This committee will assess and evaluate the feasibility of your proposed business.
- Await assessment and review: Your application, along with the submitted documents and business plan, will undergo assessment, evaluation, and review by the committee.
- Wait for approval: Be patient while waiting for the approval of your application. OWWA will review your case and make a decision based on the information provided.
- Receive cash assistance: If your application is approved, OWWA will provide you with cash assistance to support your business venture.
- Receive notification of grant release: OWWA will notify you regarding the release of the grant. Stay informed and follow the instructions provided.
- Business monitoring and evaluation: OWWA will monitor and evaluate the progress of your business venture to ensure its success and sustainability.
For interested OFW groups, here are a few things about the program that are worth taking note of:
- The Tulong PUSO cash assistance is given within 1-month after the application is approved.
- The cash aid from the Tulong PUSO Program is given in tranches or partial payments to ensure that the money will be used to fund the actual business plan.
- The Tulong PUSO grant is a financial assistance, not a loan.
Understanding the DOLE-OWWA Tulong PUSO Program
To understand the Tulong PUSO Program better, here are some explainer
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions and answers about the DOLE-OWWA Tulong PUSO project for your reference:
1. I’m not an active OWWA member. Is it still possible for me to avail of the benefits of the Tulong PUSO program?
According to the program guidelines, inactive OWWA members may avail of the Tulong PUSO grant as a member of an OFW group, provided that the group has at least 80% active OWWA members.
2. Can I avail of this program as an individual if I am an OWWA member?
No. Even as an OWWA member, you will still need to be a member of an OFW group with at least 5 members. You will have to apply for the program via the OFW group and cannot process the application on your own.
3. Can I avail the Tulong PUSO program benefit if I already have a running business?
Yes, this program also offers grants for business expansion purposes after all.
4. Is this Tulong PUSO a loan?
No. The Tulong PUSO Program is a financial grant and not a loan. It is given to qualified OFW groups with no collateral and does not need to be repaid later on.
5. If the OFW group is a large group with over 5 members, can we still avail of this program?
Yes, even large groups are entitled to the benefits of the program. They can get a maximum grant of P1,000,000.00. The maximum amount granted varies depending on the size of the OFW group.
6. I am not an OWWA member? Can I still apply as a beneficiary for the Tulong PUSO Program?
Yes. As long as you are a member of an OFW group, you can avail of the benefits of this program, according to the Memorandum of Instructions 018 Series of 2020 as long as there are 80% active OWWA members in the group.
If you are an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), a member of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and also a member of an OFW group, you have the opportunity to avail of the OWWA reintegration program known as Tulong PUSO.
The Tulong PUSO program offers a financial grant that can be incredibly beneficial for OFWs who wish to establish a business or expand their existing operations in the Philippines, particularly after being repatriated due to the pandemic.
The primary objective of the Tulong PUSO program is to support OFWs in their transition back to the Philippines and help them sustain a livelihood in their home country. Through this program, OFWs can receive assistance in developing a solid and feasible business plan. Additionally, they can access capital, tools, and equipment necessary for establishing and running a business effectively. The aim is to provide OFWs with the means to meet the financial needs of their families and successfully reintegrate into society.
By providing financial aid and resources, the Tulong PUSO program contributes to the creation of employment opportunities for other Filipinos in the country. This not only benefits the OFWs themselves but also helps to stimulate the local economy by generating jobs and fostering entrepreneurship.
Overall, the Tulong PUSO program plays a vital role in empowering OFWs to establish sustainable businesses in the Philippines and encourages them to remain in the country after their overseas employment.