While most of the news stories about Filipinos returning home from the Middle East portray sad tales of struggles in the Kingdom, not everyone returns home with such a sad fate.
Hector Daclan is one of them.
With strong determination to venture into business, Daclan had the makings of a successful entrepreneur. However, it was a big challenge then for him to build a foundation of the business as he had limited access to capital. This, coupled with the urgent need to provide for his family, Daclan deferred his plans and took the route many Filipinos would take: work abroad.
Daclan, who hails from Mandaue City, got employed as a construction worker across several the Middle East and Asian countries.
After almost ten years abroad, Daclan finally decided it’s time to go home.
In 2004, he started a laundry business in Barangay Talamban in Cebu City from the proceeds of his properties and his savings as an OFW. He named the laundry shop “Jubilee” after his eldest daughter.
Managing a business directly coming from a job unrelated to entrepreneurship, Daclan had faced struggles.
With the support from his wife Maria Eva, and determination to learn by attending training sessions and seminars conducted by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Daclan learned the ropes and eventually expanded the business by opening a second branch.
As a former overseas Filipino worker, Daclan was eligible to avail of the National Livelihood Support Fund-Livelihood Development Program, which grants financial loan to OFWs to establish and expand their business.
Daclan borrowed P200,000 from the NLSF. The amount, Daclan said, helped him establish the second branch of Jubilee Laundry in Basak, Lapu-Lapu City in 2007.
Demand for his business grew, helped by the rapid urbanization of Cebu.
After he paid in full his previous loan In 2011, Daclan decided to put up another branch in Mandaue City. This time, he borrowed from the OWWA’s P2-B OFW Reintegration Program Fund.
He was granted P500,000, enough to fund the third branch of his thriving laundry shop. This was followed by a fourth branch at an attractive location in Gun-ob, Lapu-Lapu City. Along with the growth of his business is growing number of loyal customers.
“Our four laundry shops are, indeed, doing very well. Our income from the business enabled us to send our three children to renowned private schools. More importantly, we were also able to create jobs in our community,” Daclan said.
Today, Jubilee Laundry employs nine workers. One of them, Adil Mosqueda, said her job has helped improve her life.
“Having a regular salary is empowering for a woman like me. Aside from having a regular source of income, I learned to assist operating a laundry shop and interact with various people,” Mosqueda said.
Among the most important things Daclan learned through the 12 years he spent in the laundry, business is to put quality a top priority and continuously innovate to improve service.
“We are into promoting and improving laundry care. We strive for better quality. As much as possible, we want clothes to lengthen their wearability,” Daclan said, and added that he could not thank the OWWA enough for its support to returning OFWs like him.
“I owe my gratitude to OWWA, and I hope it will continue to provide training for OFWs, especially to those who want to engage in business and productively reintegrate in our country,” he said.