Good News

Department of Labor and Employment

National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO)

November 2019



 “Greenfoot: Alternative to Disposable
Slippers” is the NRCO-ISP Business Plan of
the Year 2019 

A seafarer and his wife from Cainta, Rizal bagged the Php 500,000.00 grand prize for their business plan entry during the Final Round and Awarding Ceremony of the NRCO-ISP Business Plan Competition.

            “Greenfoot: Alternative to disposable slippers”, the business proposal submitted by Second Engineer Gary Esguerra, together with his wife, Chique, was awarded the 2019 NRCO-ISP Business Plan of the Year. The Market Pitch and Awarding Ceremony was held last Friday, 8 November 2019, at the Embassy Ballroom of Hotel Jen Manila.

“Kapag umuuwi po ako galing sa barko, nagho-hotel po ako eh. Nakikita ko po na ang mga slippers sa hotel, hindi bio-degradable. Nakaisip po ako na bakit hindi natin gawing environmental-friendly ang mga tsinelas, at locally-made pa?”, said Gary Esguerra during an interview after the awarding ceremony.

The Esguerras’ business proposal aims to address environmental waste of synthetic disposable hotel slippers by replacing them with biodegradable materials of “katsa” fabric and abaca bakbak.  

“Greenfoot slippers have fruit-bearing seeds inside so that when you finished using it and buried it a few feet under, the seeds will turn into fruit-bearing trees,” added Gary Esguerra.

A total of ten finalists competed for the grand cash prize of Php 500,000.00.

Among the finalists, Mr. Helbert Blanco and Mr. Andro Marvin Obed of Koronadal City received the 2nd Prize of Php 100,000.00 courtesy of Astra Marine International Inc. for their “Berto’s Pickled Green Chilies” business proposal.

 The remaining eight finalists received Php 50,000.00 each:

  • Social Entrepreneurship Empathy and Dynamics (SEED) by Remy Salaya of Jaro, Iloilo City
  • T’wayway’s Café and Resto by Ian Villa of Batanes
  • Allee Chocolate by Al Calimpon of Siquijor
  • Charmos Ginamos by Jan Vincent Duo of Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur
  • Dingdong’s Peanut Sauce by Rey Bolesca of Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur
  • Jacal’s Native Chicken Production by Jaren Calinao of Samar
  • Rygel’s Pasalubong Center by Juan Villeza Jr. of San Fernando, Camarines Sur
  • Abaca Pana-on Plantation & Production by Armando Sangre of Leyte

         DOLE Undersecretary Renato L. Ebarle attended the Awarding Ceremony and delivered an inspirational message to the finalists on behalf of DOLE Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III.

“Kami po sa DOLE, OWWA at NRCO ay natutuwang makita at malaman na marami tayong mga OFWs na interesado nang magbalik-bansa at magnegosyo. Sa mga plano ninyong ganito, ating tinutulungan hindi lamang ang ating mga sarili, kundi ang ating mga komunidad, pati na rin ang ating bansa. Higit kaming nagagalak na pinipili na ninyong pumarito upang makasama lalo’t higit ang inyong pamilya at mga mahal sa buhay,” said Usec. Ebarle.

            Also present in the event were OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac, ISP President Gaudencio Morales, heads of manning agencies, media, and families of the seafarers.

            OWWA Deputy Administrator Esther Margaux “Mocha” Uson also attended the event. DA Uson announced that there will also be a similar competition for the land-based OFWs.

             “We always hope from the beginning that this Competition may serve as the most opportune venue for you and your families to come together and showcase your entrepreneurship potentials.  Wala naman tayong ibang hangad para sa pamilya natin kundi ang mamuhay ng marangal at maginhawa, kaya nga ang iba sa ating mga OFWs ay pumapasok sa pagnenegosyo. With this, I am glad to announce that there will also be a Business Plan Competition for the land-based sector in the coming days,” said DA Uson.

The 2019 NRCO-ISP Business Plan Competition is a special project of the NRCO and ISP. Each year since 2015, seafarers bagged the Php 500,000 grand prize:

  • 2015 – Seaweeds Farming in Masinloc, Zambales by seafarer William Gaspay
    • 2016 – Soft Broom Making in Manito, Albay by seafarer Ryan Mark Antiquera (together with his parents Freddie and Elsa)
    • 2017 – Ruminant Feeds Production and Distribution in Sta. Ignacia, Tarlac by Capt. Oswald Rollorazo & Jason Javier
    • 2018 – Metro Cebu Express in City of Naga, Cebu by seafarer Dr. Nelson Mejia, Jr.


The Integrated Seafarers of the Philippines is a non-stock and non-profit organization formed and established for the welfare of Filipino seafarers and their families. It aims to create avenues where the seafarers' families can improve their lives while the seafarers are on active duty; and to provide ways for their easier social reintegration after the culmination of their overseas jobs.

The NRCO, on the other hand, is mandated to develop, promote and implement a national agenda on sustainable return and reintegration to address the multi-faceted reintegration needs of returning Overseas Filipino Workers and their families, including the development of their hometowns and/or communities. ###