A 44-year old overseas Filipino worker (OFW) from Bucana, Davao City has established his own business after more than a decade of working overseas. Rolly “Lee” Real worked in various countries like Qatar, Eritrea Africa, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Angola from 2008 to 2019. His last employment was in Bahrain as a Human Resources Officer. Due to the current global pandemic, he decided to stop working and tried his luck in business.
Like everybody’s dream, OFW Rolly worked abroad to have a comfortable life. “Fortunately, for more than 10 years of working abroad, I was able to give my children with the right education and provided them with their needs conveniently,” said Rolly who proudly announced that his daughter is currently studying in Taiwan taking up Opto Mechanical Engineering while his second child is an incoming freshman who will take Civil Engineering in a university in Davao City.
Because of his ultimate dream to have a business, OFW Rolly decided to put up a water refilling station in their barangay. “Aside from being essential to our daily life routine, I want to offer a safe and clean water to drink in our community, especially now that we are experiencing a deadly pandemic. This inspires me to establish the business”, he further said. With a registered business name “Aqua Real Purified Drinking Water”, the water facilities and equipment are installed on the ground floor of his residence in Bucana. He invested around PHP 450,000.00 in this business which is part of his hard-earned money while working abroad.
The water refilling station was officially opened and launched on August 08, 2020. He said that, through this business, he could maintain their standard of living and can continuously sustain the studies of his children. Apart from this, he also started a one-stop shop and bayad center (online payment) where he can serve clients while staying at home. “Residing in a barangay with the largest population in the city and with the current lockdown of most areas in our locality, I decided to open and accept online payment of bills. This would help our neighbors and friends to have less exposure to the COVID 19 virus while falling in line waiting for their turns to pay”, he added.
To enhance his skills, OFW Rolly availed of the free Information Technology (IT) Training Program of OWWA in February 2020. The young entrepreneur was delighted when he completed the 10-day training at the Regional Welfare Office XI. “Though I know computer operations, the training helped me to refresh my knowledge, especially on the latest and updated computer applications that would help me in running my online business smoothly,” he relayed.
Being a beginner of the business, OFW Rolly keeps himself updated on market trends and keeps on researching useful marketing strategies. During the opening of his water refilling station, he offered a buy one take one scheme to customers. Presently, he offered a special deal to sub-dealers (point system). Every purchase or refill, they will earn one point. They can redeem one free water refill once they accumulate 20 points. He likewise assured of clean facilities and fast delivery service. Based on his projection, he will earn Php 50,000.00 to Php 70,000 monthly net income after three months of operation. “If God permits and I will reach this income, this can suffice our daily needs,” said Rolly who hopes to be known in the water distribution business.
OFW Rolly expressed his sincere gratitude to OWWA for extending their programs and services to its OFW clients. “I really appreciate OWWA for their initiative to reach out those OFWs who have been settling for good and even extended their services to OFW families like the IT training program and skills trainings that would help and encourage them to become successful entrepreneurs,” said Rolly who plans to avail of the OFW Enterprise Development and Loan Program (OEDLP) of OWWA to expand his business.
He likewise encourages his fellow OFWs to be wise and smart enough to weigh all the considerations before going abroad. “We’re not just talking about the income we earned abroad, but the most important consideration is to do our job well and have more patience in dealing with different nationalities and characters”, he added. In running a business, his advice is to maximize one’s efforts and knowledge about the business to engage with and take note of the equation: income-savings=expenses.
Despite challenges encountered by OFW Rolly while working abroad, he never quit and was able to survive. He was grateful for having a good employer with better compensation and benefits. What he acquires now is the product of his hard work and determination. “Life is a continuous process. Let us keep on moving whenever we fall because trials and challenges make us braver and stronger,” he stressed. He added that the opening of his business will give him new opportunities to help others. “If given the chance to be successful in this field, I can provide employment to my relatives and others who need help,” he ended. (END)
Department of Labor and Employment
Overseas Workers Welfare Administration
Regional Welfare Office XI
14 August 2020