Coca-Cola Philippines and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration-National Reintegration Center for OFWs (OWWA-NRCO) celebrate the second run of the Balik Bayani Awards this 2021 with 20 awardees from across the country.
Developed in response to the economic challenges brought about by the pandemic, the Balik Bayani initiative honors returned-OFWs-turned-entrepreneurs for their resilience and resourcefulness during this global crisis.
“Coca-Cola Philippines is fully committed to helping uplift the lives of Filipinos by providing opportunities for sustainable livelihood,” shares Tony del Rosario, Coca-Cola Philippines President and VP for Franchise Operations for the Asean and South Pacific Unit-East Asia Region.
“The country’s economic challenges require us to act as a community, to be strategic, and to maintain a sharp focus on helping people and communities that are most vulnerable. Balik Bayani awardees remind us that, given the right kind of support, people can once again find their footing in the most difficult and uncertain of environments,” he adds.
A Hero’s Homecoming to Entrepreneurship
Nominees were named by Coca-Cola Philippines and OWWA from their most exemplary graduates in the OFW RISE Program and BANGON PINAS project, while the winners were determined by the organizations’ leaders based on the nominees’ business ideas, creative executions, and impressive contributions to society through their micro-business efforts during the pandemic.
The Balik Bayani Award recipients from the OFW Rise program are: Lailane Balmis Benitez (Zamboanga Sibugay), Caesar de Vera Esquibal (San Mateo, Isabela), Marilyn Sarciban Jabson (Pasig, NCR), Helen Mae Capuyan Nollora (Barobo, Surigao Del Sur), Norberto Bautista de Villa (General Trias, Cavite), Jinny Inoc Abano (Cordoba, Cebu), Edmundo Babol Baruño (Pateros, NCR), Jennifer Amosco Urgello (Borongan City, Eastern Samar), Ma. Lorevic Francisco Balangiao (San Miguel, Bulacan), Jacqueline Blanza Tanggo (Kalinga, CAR), Grey Barcelona Abergas (San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija), Manelene Gernale Handig (Bulan, Sorsogon), Joel Menil Moran (Naic, Cavite), Jommel Versano Sioco (Bacolor, Pampanga), and Jenny Morada Negrillo (Mabacalat City, Pampanga).
Completing the list from the BANGON PINAS project are: Junedyn & Rebecca Guillermo (Nueva Vizcaya), Christine Lavador Torres (Misamis Oriental), Rodolfo Mondragon (Las Piñas, NCR), Sheryl T. Atienzar (Davao del Norte), and Salvador C. Sato IV (Camarines Sur).
The awardees were each granted Php 30,000 worth of business support packages, inclusive of Coca-Cola products, as part of their Balik Bayani Award prizes.
The Balik Bayani Awards, on top of its training programs, is just one example of CCBPI’s total efforts to provide jobs for communities across the country; OFWs being just a small, but integral, fraction of its intended pie to push for collective growth and development across the Philippines.
The Overseas Workers Welfare Agenda
Coca-Cola Philippines strengthens its long-standing partnership with OWWA through the Balik Bayani Awards, and the training initiatives it led alongside the agency. One of which is the OFW RISE Program, which was an online course that coached OFWs through the technical know-hows on starting a business and running it to success.
The course trained participants on the approved Business Model Canvas (BMC), and also provided assistance to loan application and OWWA livelihood. This particular course has also been fully mitigated by the TESDA Online Program (TOP) as one of its free course offerings. As of December 1, 2021, 585 graduates have already completed the online training.
Through the OFW RISE Program, Coca-Cola Philippines joined OWWA in program management and implementation. They also led the design and conduct of online business coaching for micro-businesses through the course, co-implemented the pilot run with OWWA-NRCO and TESDA, facilitated post training assistance to graduates, and more, as part of their commitment to aiding Filipino workers through these times of difficulty.
Bangon PINAS is another project that showcases this commitment. It is also a core contributor to the list of awardees and nominees for the Balik Bayani Awards. Bangon PINAS, originally called Balik Pinas, actively seeks out OFWs who have lost their livelihoods due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and provides opportunities for entrepreneurship in the Philippines by assisting them in developing a business model that’s both sustainable and profitable. This was established by CCBPI to aid MSMEs and struggling Filipino workers to get back on their feet.
“Together with OWWA, we look forward to helping more OFWs receive the support they need to start over back home with stability in their lives. Through initiatives like OFW RISE and Bangon PINAS, and especially the Balik Bayani Awards, we hope to give our modern-day heroes the boost to rise above the challenges of COVID-19 and repatriation, and steer them towards sustainable growth” Del Rosario concludes.