Mrs. Reina Manzan, a former Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) from Israel and the first availee of the 2-Billion OFW Reintegration Program or 2B ORP (now known as the OFW-Enterprise and Development Loan Program) of the Province of Antique, realized how lucky she and her family is to have a livelihood after suffering from what was one of the worst disasters to hit the province back in 2013.
Manzan, who originally hailed from Lemery, Iloilo, worked as a domestic helper in Israel from 2007 until 2011, the year where her employer passed away.
Mrs. Manzan, along with her husband Ireneo and their two children, relocated to Hamtic, Antique before Typhoon ‘Yolanda’ (international name: Haiyan) hit Western Visayas on November 2013; like many of the homes and livelihoods in the province, theirs was one of those devastated.
Fortunately, the Manzan family started to get their lives back on track with the help of Reina’s savings, a portion of which she invested in a motorcycle parts shop in their home, during her four-year stint as an OFW.
Though they enjoyed a moderately successful business because of the many Antiqueños who relied on motorcycles and tricycles for their livelihoods, they applied for the 2B ORP from the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) so they could expand their shop by getting more stocks and adding a sari-sari store.
They also managed to buy a banca which they used to catch fish and seafood that they sold to nearby cities and towns.
Through it all, she remains proud of one thing: “I never missed payment. I always pay back my loan on time.”
Currently, she is organizing an OFW Family Circle (OFC) group in Hamtic to, as she puts it, “help fellow OFWs like her be more proactive in investing and taking care of their money”. —Source: OWWA