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Department of Labor and Employment

National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO)

August 2018

BA CAR PHOTO 1 Group pictures with OFWs returnees together with the farm owner Mr. Jose Santamaria,
Gil Datayan Jr. of DOLE, Wendy Salada of ECC and Esmeralda Pocdihon from NRCO.

Forty OFWs and dependents from Baguio-Benguet and Abra attended the 3rd conduct of Byaheng Agripreneur held at Barangubong Organic Integrated Farm, Pennarubia, Abra last July 5, 2018.

This program is in partnership with the Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI) where in the agency will identify an accredited integrated farm for learning site of OFWs who are engaged into agricultural business-like farming, hog raising/swine production and organic vegetables.

BA CAR PHOTO 2Mr. Santamaria giving lectures to OFW participants.

The farm was owned by Mr. Jose Santamaria, a former OFW from Taiwan. He was a construction worker for almost 12 years and transferred to Africa on the same job.

“During my stay in Africa, I was not able to finish my contract due to Malaria. I was bedridden for almost a week… was so weak that I can’t stand or walk and decided to go home,” he narrated.

Upon his return, he invested his hard-earned money in farming and bought a parcel of land about 40 hectares in Pennarubia.

According to Mr. Santamaria, venturing into agribusiness is not that easy. He then asked the assistance of other government agencies like the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Science, Technology (DOST) and Technical Education and Skills Authority Development (TESDA) for seedling, fingerlings and funding.

He also went into series of seminars and training in terms of agricultural and entrepreneurial business to enhance his knowledge and skills in farming.

“It is not easy to venture in agricultural farming in one day. It needs a lot of capital, time, money and resources,” he added. ###