Philippines’ trade office helps overseas Filipinos with new initiative


By Henri Abenis-Macahilo

In response to the prevailing crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic that affected thousands of Filipino migrants, the Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through its trade and investment centres across the globe, has launched an interactive online initiative.

The first episode of Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan (Work, Business, Livelihood) webinar series kick-started on April 30 simultaneously for Filipinos living in Bangkok, Dubai, Jakarta, Jeddah, Kuala Lumpur, New Delhi, Singapore, and Sydney to help them set-up and grow news ventures in agribusiness.

According to Commercial Attaché in Dubai and Northern Emirates, Charmaine Yalong, the TNK webinars are part of the agency’s initiative to help curb unemployment, job-seeking, and migration, and aid overseas Filipinos and returning overseas Filipinos from Southeast Asia, South Asia, Middle East, Australia and New Zealand in finding investment opportunities in the Philippines and support the country’s economic recovery.

“We are inviting aspiring overseas Filipino entrepreneurs in the Middle East to explore investment opportunities in the Philippines while supporting the country’s economic recovery.  Join the year-long TNK Webinar Series free of charge,” said Ms. Yalong.

“Don’t miss the opportunity to learn from experts on key sectors of agribusiness; bonds, stocks, and mutual funds; franchising; and startups.”

In the first of the four-part series, Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Cheryl Marie Caballero discussed the lucrative agribusiness opportunities in the Philippines, followed by Agricultural Credit Policy Council Executive Director Jocelyn Badiola, who identified DTI’s financial assistance programs designed to finance the livelihood activities of qualified entrepreneurs.

Agricultural Training Institute Director Alfredo Aton discussed the agency’s capacity building and training programs as essential tools for agri-entrepreneurs in building and scaling successful agri-enterprises.

DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez gave a highly motivational opening remarks before the start of the webinar, which was hosted by PTIC-New Delhi commercial counsellor Eugenio Elevado Jr.

The pilot episode on agribusiness will be followed by episodes exploring Philippine-denominated investments, franchising opportunities, and the local startup ecosystem.

The TNK webinar series is set to run until the end of 2021, featuring high-level speakers from the government and private sectors as part of DTI’s mandate to empower overseas Filipinos in the area of entrepreneurship.

According to DTI, the agriculture sector has exhibited resilience even during the height of the country’s COVID-19 lockdowns, expanding by 1.6% in the second quarter of last year, defying a downward trend that dragged all other sectors.

For more information about the TNK Webinar Series, visit and follow DTI-Middle East and Africa Facebook page.


Henri Abenis-Macahilo is the editor-in-chief of Rights Corridor. She is also the UAE bureau chief of Philippine-based news portal, NewsLinePH.