The DOLE-OWWA Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-unlad ng Samahang OFWs (Tulong PUSO) Program is a one-time livelihood financial grant designed to support OFW organizations or groups in their bid to start-up and expand their proposed businesses. Its goal: To help distressed member OFWs stay in the country and start their own businesses.
Also Read: Complete List of OWWA Scholarship Programs
The program was a collaboration between the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It was developed in an effort to help OFWs affected by the pandemic as they reintegrate back into Philippine society. In this guide, you can learn more about what the Tulong PUSO program offers, along with the qualifications, requirements, eligibility, step-by-step methods of application, and all the other important information about this financial grant.
What is Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-unlad ng Samahang OFWs (Tulong – PUSO)
The Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-unlad ng Samahang OFWs (Tulong PUSO) is a collaborative reintegration program launched by DOLE, OWWA, CDA, and SEC in an effort to show their support to repatriated, distressed, and displaced OFWs who wish to elevate their lives by enterprising.
It was also meant to help micro (5-10 members), small (11-15 members), medium (16-30 members), and large (31 or more members) OFW groups and organizations support their members who can no longer work abroad due to crisis or employment problems.
The program aims to provide business guidance to the OFWs, along with the necessary capital, materials, tools, and equipment so they can undertake various livelihood projects that are viable, sustainable, and with immediate income-generation potential projects.
In addition to the funds, the Tulong PUSO program also
Under the Tulong PUSO Program, applicants can get support to fund the following business activities:
- Livelihood Start-up
Funds from the Tulong PUSO program can be used to fund the formation and start of a business undertaking.
- Livelihood Expansion
The cash grant can also help fund the enhancement of existing business undertakings, so it may grow an existing business into a viable and sustainable enterprise.
- Livelihood Restoration
With help from the DOLE-OWWA Tulong PUSO Program, OFWs can re-establish their lost or damaged business enterprises.
As far as the approved livelihood endeavors are concerned, the Tulong PUSO program can fund business associated with:
- Marketable product or services
- Environment-friendly; preferably “green” products
- Products made from local/indigenous resources/materials
- Inherited or generational local employment activities
- Franchise business
- Online selling and delivery service
- Industries that qualify as key employment generators
- DTI-priority products
Benefits of Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-unlad ng Samahang OFWs (Tulong – PUSO)
The Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-unlad ng Samahang OFWs Program or Tulong PUSO is a DOLE-OWWA project is meant to offer OFWs the following benefits:
- One-time financial grant, which may vary depending on the size of OFW groups
- Micro-sized OFW Groups (1-5 members) – can get a grant of up to a maximum of Php 150,000.00;
- Small-sized OFW Groups (11-20 members) – are eligible up to a maximum of Php 250,000.00 grant;
- Medium-sized OFW Groups (21-30 members) – eligible up to a maximum of Php 500,000.00 grant; and
- Large-sized OFW Groups 31 or more members) – eligible up to a maximum of Php 1,000,000.00 grant.
- Business guidance to help them come up with a solid business plan
- Support to supplement the necessary business materials, tools, and equipment
Qualifications for Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-unlad ng Samahang OFWs (Tulong – PUSO)
To qualify for the Tulong PUSO Program, OFW Groups should meet the following criteria:
- Must be an OFW group that is duly registered with DOLE, CDA, and SEC
- The group or organization has a minimum of five (5) members
- Must have at least eighty percent (80%) of its members considered as OWWA members and/or their families.
- The rest of the members making up the remaining twenty percent (20%) may be undocumented/irregular OFWs and/or their families
- The requesting beneficiary is a distressed or repatriated OFW who aims to stay in the Philippines for good
Note that those who have been previously awarded with Tulong PUSO grants shall no longer be qualified to avail of the benefits of this program.
Before applying for the Tulong PUSO Program, grant applicants must prepare the following documents:
- Duly accomplished Tulong PUSO Application Form
- Registration certificates issued by DOLE, CDA, or SEC
- OFW Group Profile and Members’ Profile indicating at least 80% thereof are OWWA members and/or their families
- Audited Financial Statements certified by the Association/Group Treasurer and Auditor, when applicable
- Certification signed by the OFW Group President indicating the names of duly authorized representatives to deal with the concerned OWWA Regional Welfare Office (RWO) in the entire program phases (maximum of three)
- Affidavit of Undertaking executed by the OFW Group on How to Manage and Grow the Business
- Business Proposal and Feasibility Study with proof of equity of at least 20%, which could either be:
- available and/or existing capital assets
- bank accounts/statements
Tulong PUSO Application Procedure
Once the requirements are ready, the application process for the Tulong PUSO grant can already be initiated. To do so, simply follow these steps:
Personal Appearance via the OWWA RWO
- Fill out the application form online, available via the OWWA website (https://tulongpuso.owwa.gov.ph/OWWA).
- Make sure to fill out the spaces marked with an asterisk (*).
- Once done with the first page, click Next.
- Complete the forms and click Submit.
- Set up an appointment with the preferred OWWA RWO using the OWWA Online Appointment System (appointment.owwa.gov.ph) or via the OWWA Mobile App.
- Submit the document requirements to the nearest OWWA office.
- Wait for the OWWA Officer to issue a receipt, acknowledgment, or a reference number upon the submission of your application form.
- Save the reference number and present it when asked for by the OWWA officer.
- Attend the Tulong PUSO Pre-Orientation and Pre-Social Preparation webinars
- Present your business plan to the OWWA Regional Review Committee.
- Wait for the assessment of the business proposal committee review.
- Once the webinars are completed, the application will undergo assessment, evaluation, and review of submitted documents
- Wait for the approval. Once approved, you will get cash assistance from OWWA.
- Wait for the notification regarding the release of the grant
- Note that OWWA will be monitoring and evaluating the progress of the business venture.
For interested OFW groups, here are a few things about the program that are worth taking note of:
- The Tulong PUSO cash assistance is given within 1-month after the application is approved.
- The cash aid from the Tulong PUSO Program is given in tranches or partial payments to ensure that the money will be used to fund the actual business plan.
- The Tulong PUSO grant is a financial assistance, not a loan.
Video: Understanding the DOLE-OWWA Tulong PUSO Program
To understand the Tulong PUSO Program better, here are some explainer videos posted on the TFC Youtube channel about what the program really is and how to avail its benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions and answers about the DOLE-OWWA Tulong PUSO project for your reference:
1. I’m not an active OWWA member. Is it still possible for me to avail of the benefits of the Tulong PUSO program?
According to the program guidelines, inactive OWWA members may avail of the Tulong PUSO grant as a member of an OFW group, provided that the group has at least 80% active OWWA members.
2. Can I avail this program as an individual if I am an OWWA member?
No. Even as an OWWA member, you will still need to be a member of an OFW group with at least 5 members. You will have to apply for the program via the OFW group and cannot process the application on your own.
3. Can I avail the Tulong PUSO program benefit if I already have a running business?
Yes, this program also offers grants for business expansion purposes after all.
4. Is this Tulong PUSO a loan?
No. The Tulong PUSO Program is a financial grant, and not a loan. It is given to qualified OFW groups with no collateral and does not need to be repaid later on.
5. If the OFW group is a large group with over 5 members, can we still avail of this program?
Yes, even large groups are entitled to the benefits of the program. They can get a maximum grant of P1,000,000.00. The maximum amount granted varies depending on the size of the OFW group.
6. I am not an OWWA member? Can I still apply as a beneficiary for the Tulong PUSO Program?
Yes. As long as you are a member of an OFW group, you can avail of the benefits of this program, according to the Memorandum of Instructions 018 Series of 2020 as long as there are 80% active OWWA members in the group.
If you are an OFW, an OWWA member, and a member of an OFW group, then you can avail of the OWWA reintegration program called Tulong PUSO. The Tulong PUSO financial grant is really helpful for OFWs who intend to put up a business or expand their operations and stay in the Philippines for good after being repatriated due to the pandemic.
This program will also help them put up a solid and feasible business plan while providing them with capital, tools, and equipment that will enable them to have a business that will sustain the needs of their families and help them reintegrate well into society. It will also help them form jobs for other Pinoys in the country.