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For its fourth year, seafarers and their families will be given another opportunity to establish their dream businesses as the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO), in partnership with the Integrated Seafarers of the Philippines (ISP), launches business plan competition for returning OFW seafarers.

Dubbed as “From Seafarers to Entrepreneurs: The 2018 NRCO-ISP Business Plan Competition (Harnessing Seafarers’ Capacities for Business Enterprises Development)”, a nationwide competition that aims to encourage and handhold qualified seafarers who intend to venture into social entrepreneurship, was launched on 18 May 2018 at the Labor Governance Learning Center (LGLC), Intramuros, Manila.  

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“This is the fourth time the NRCO is in partnership with the Integrated Seafarers of the Philippines (ISP) to conduct of a business plan competition for returning seafarers. We would like to produce OFW seafarers who can make a difference upon their reintegration, just like what we have assisted during the past three years,” said NRCO OIC-Director Roel B. Martin.

Since 2015, the NRCO and ISP have produced three seafarer-entrepreneurs who have established income-generating jobs in their respective hometowns:

  • 2015 winner: Mr. William Gaspay (60, Chief Officer) Seaweeds Farming in Masinloc, Zambales
  • 2016 winner: Ryan Mark Antiquera (32, Able Seaman) – Soft Broom Making in Manito, Albay
  • 2017 winner: Oswald Rollorazo (48, Captain) – TMR Ruminant Feeds in Sta. Ignacia, Tarlac

For this year’s Competition, the acceptance of entries is on 18 May 2018 and deadline of submission is on 7 September 2018. This is open to: Active seafarerspreferably those who are planning to retire from sea life and interested to venture into entrepreneurship; and, Inactive seafarers who have been in the Philippines for not more than five (5) years and interested to venture into entrepreneurship.

Participants may join the competition in solo, duo or by group (minimum of 3 members). Competition entrants, whether individually or members of a team, must be Filipino and 25 years old or older.

A qualified seafarer who wishes to join the competition but is currently on duty and is unable to attend presentation and coordination activities related to the Competition including attendance to screening and mentoring/coaching activities, must have at least one (1) official representative, (must be an immediate family member) who will handle all the tasks and activities required in the Competition.

OIC-Director Martin has explained the stages of the Competition. “After the submission of entries, the Screening and Evaluation Committee will scan through the entries and select Top 10 business plans. After which, the finalists will undergo mentoring sessions so that they can further enhance their entries. That’s the time they will proceed to the Final Round where they will defend their business plans.”

Winners will be based on the following criteria:


Content of the plan including social business idea and purpose

30 pts

Impact on the community

20 pts

Financial viability

30 pts

Clarity and presentation of the business plan

10 pts

Drive and determination of the business plan owner-entrepreneur

10 pts


100 pts

The schedule of awarding ceremony for the business competition is slated on09 November 2018. The 2018 NRCO-ISP Business Plan of the Year will get Php 500,000.00 grand cash prize (to be given in three tranches). Other Special Awards and Prizes include: First Runner-up – Php 100,000.00; Second, Third and Fourth Runners-up – Php 50,000.00 each; Consolation Prize of Php 20,000.00 each for the remaining finalists; and, possible grants and access to preferential business loan funding from NRCO and its partners.

Other details of the Competition will be posted and ###