OWWA SCHOLARSHIP, NOW OPEN

img_20180817_103918Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) around the world, you can now avail of the OWWA Scholarships for you or for your dependents.

There are two types of scholarships offered by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). First is the Education for Development Scholarship Program or the EDSP and second, the OFW Dependent Scholarship Program or OFWDSP.

Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP)

The Education for Development Scholarship Program is granted to OFW dependents or beneficiaries who wish to enroll or are already enrolled in a 4-5 year course program. These can either be in any state universities and colleges (SUCs) all over the Philippines, or in privately-owned tertiary or vocational institutions or Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)-accredited learning centers. EDSP scholars can receive a maximum of P60,000 per school year.

OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (OFWDSP)

The OFW Dependent Scholarship Program or OFWDSP is offered to those whose family member working abroad receives a monthly salary not higher than US$400. The OFWDSP covers P20,000 (per school year) of a student’s school expenses, not the tuition fees because of the recent signing of Republic Act 10931 (Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education) into law. State colleges and universities are now tuition free. The money granted to OFWDSP scholars can be used for other school fees, and other academic-related expenses only.

How to qualify for the OWWA Scholarship

  1. Must be a child of a married OWWA member or brother/sister of an unmarried OWWA member
  2. Must be 21 years old or below
  3. Must be a Filipino citizen
  4. Be in good health and with good moral character
  5. Must have an average grade of at least 80% and belong to the upper 20% of the graduating class

What Are the Requirements of OWWA Scholarship

To be eligible for the scholarships, one has to make sure that the dependent applicant is not receiving any other scholarship grants, is the only family member (child or sibling) of the OFW receiving the EDSP, and has not previously taken any OWWA scholarship qualifying exam.

The OFW has to be an active member of the OWWA and their dependents must not be over 21 years of age,  with a grade not lower than 80% and belong to the upper 20% of the graduating class, must be a Filipino citizen, must have passed the qualifying exam provided by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and must have passed the college entrance exam which he/ she intends to enroll in.

  1. Accomplished application forms (2 sets)
  2. 1″x 1″ ID pictures (2 copies)
  3. Proof of relationship to Member (copy of Birth Certificate of applicant and of the Member if related as brother or sister duly certified by the Local Civil Registrar or NSO)
  4. Form 137 or Transcript of Records with Principal’s Certification on Scholastic Standing
  5. Proof of OWWA membership (i.e. Official Receipt of OWWA Contribution/Certification from OWWA Membership Processing Center)
  6. Health Certificate attesting to physical fitness of an applicant (Form B)
  7. Certificate of Good Moral Character issued by the School Principal/Guidance Counselor (Form C)
  8. Certification that applicant belongs to upper 20% of graduating class issued by school principal (2 sets)
  9. Statement of applicant that he/she has not earned units in any post-secondary/undergraduate course (Form E)
  10. Sworn Statement that he/she has no pending application for resident immigrant status in any country and does not have dual citizenship signed by parent or legal guardians (Form F)

To avail of the OWWA scholarship, please bring the requirements mentioned above at the nearest OWWA office. For more information visit the OWWA website at http://www.owwa.gov.ph/

 

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Maraming Salamat, Paalam

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Regalo kay Nanay at Tatay – Ang Simpleng Bahay na Itinayo ng Pagiging OFW sa Saudi.

Dear Saudi,

Parang kahapon lang noong itinapon ko ang iniinom kong gatas sa inakalang ito’y panis. ‘Yon pala, iyon ay tinatawag na Laban. Hahaha.

Aminado ako, nag-alinlangan akong puntahan ka noon dahil sa mga negatibong balita na naririnig ko tungkol sa  iyo. Pero binagtas ko ang “kawalan”, dala-dala ang lakas ng loob, dahil katulad ng maraming nagingibang-bayan, nais kong maiahon ang pamilya ko sa kahirapan. Cliché kung tawagin pero totoo.

Di ko sukat akalain, higit sa kalahati ng buhay ko ay iginugol ko na pala sa iyo, bansang Saudi Arabia.

Twenty-four years, to be exact.

Tatlong hari sa loob ng dalawamput-apat na taon! E di wow!

Sa loob ng higit dalawang dekadang paninirahan ko sa Kahariang ito, marami na rin namang mga magagandang bunga ito. Katulad na lang ng:

  • Naipagpatayo ko ng bahay-na-batao ang mga magulang ko. Alalang–alala ako noon pag bumabagyo. Love na love pa naman ng bagyo ang lugar namin. Lagi siyang binibisita. 🙂
  • Natulungan kong mapagtapos ng pag-aaral ang ibang mga kapatid ko.
  • Tumulong sa iba, sa abot ng aking makakaya. Pasensya na sa mga di ko natulungan.
  • Nag-pundar ng pagkakakitaan, nakabili ng mga lupang sakahan at tirhan.
  • Dito ko nakilala ang aking kabiyak at bumuo ng pamilya. (Di ba, kung gusto, may paraan talaga.)
  • Dito ipinanganak ang aking panganay.
  • Nagkaroon ng maraming kaibigan – tunay at di-tunay. Opo, may mga parang kendi; sweet-sweetan pero nakabalot sa plastic. Hahaha
  • Yumaman ang karanasan sa mga bagay-bagay at buhay-buhay.
  • Dito ko nasumpungan ang dakilang pag-ibig ng Diyos, ika nga. Opo, sa bundok ng Al-Soodah.
  • Nagkaroon ng pamilyang maituturing, na binubuo ng mga anak at lingkod ng Diyos.

At katulad ng fairy tale, marami ding mga challenges ang aking naranasan. Ang mga tulad nito ay kaakibat ng mga bigating dinadala ng mga karaniwang OFW tulad ko. Opo, hindi po talaga sarap lang  ang nararanasan namin, (katulad ng iniisip ng marami). Sa likod ng mga ngiti sa Facebook posts o Instagram, sa mga mapagbalat-kayo at gasgas na mga katagang “Ok lang ako,” tuwing tinatanong ka ng mga mahal mo sa buhay, ay ang hirap ng kalooban na pilit na nilalabanan sa mga panahon at sitwasyon na katulad ng;

  • Pangungulila sa mga magulang. Naroon yung sinisisi mo minsan ang sarili mo kung bakit ka pa nag-abroad.

    TatayNanay

    Ang minamahal at pinararangalan kong mga magulang.

  • Matinding pangungulila sa mga anak at asawa. Lalo na kung isa sa kanila ay may sakit. Para kang baliw, di mo alam kung anong gagawin mo.
  • Sa mga panahong kahit galit na galit ka na sa katrabaho mo, kailangan mong mag-timpi dahil baka pag nasuntok mo o sinabunutan mo  at dumugo, uwi ka ng di oras.
  • Yung namnamin mo at talagang ipinapamuhay mo ang mga katagang “inis-talo.”
  • Yung mga discrimination sa trabaho. Di yata nawawala yon e, kahit saan.
  • Yung minsang sobrang napahiya ako dahil kinwelyuhan ako ng aming Dutch na production manager sa loob ng production area, dahil sa maling akala. Di muna nagtanong! Peter Dijksterhaus, di kita makalimutan, hahaha.
  • Yung maghabol ka ng hafla (luma at sira-sirang coaster) papuntang bayan at makipila ka ng mahaba sa remittance center kahit pagod ka after work, makapagpadala ka lang.

Pero salamat.

Salamat, Saudi sa oportunidad na binigay mo at ibinibigay pa sa mga maralitang taga-ibang bayan tulad ko. Pero ngayon, mayaman na ako, YES! Mayaman sa karanasan! Hahaha.

Salamat dahil nakilala kita at nalaman kong hindi naman pala totoo ang ibang tsismis tungkol sa yo.

Saksi ako sa pagbabago mo. Yung wala pang satellite disc noon, at madaling araw pipila sa public telephone na may dala-dalang sangkaterbang 1-riyal coin – yes, 18 riyals per minute – hanggang sa pagkakaroon ng sinehan at pagmamaneho ng mga babae; yung pag-ban sa Viber pero sumulpot naman ang iba pang video apps tulad ng Tango, IMO at WhatsApp, maging sa pagkakaroon ng mga concert, pagtaas ng presyo ng gas – na ni sa hinagap ay di namin naisip-  at marami pang iba.

Salamat dahil kahit mahigpit ka at ibang-iba ang kultura mo, natutunan ko itong mahalin, pahalagahan at ipamalita.

Salamat sa pagkupkop, sa loob ng bente-kwatrong taon. Walang duda, ikaw ang aking pangalawang tahanan.

Hangad ko ang iyong patuloy na pag-ahon at tagumpay sa iyong mga minimithi.

Hanggang sa muling pagkikita, kung loobin ng Diyos.

Nagmamahal,

DJ MAC, Saudi OFW, 1995-2019

Posted in Buhay OFW (OFW Life), Uncategorized | 2 Comments

President Duterte Signed OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) Handbook into Law

Alam mo ba ang mga rights, privileges, benefits and responsibilities mo bilang Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW)? I bet, like me, you don’t know.

Here’s the good news.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law, the implementation of OFW Handbook. The handbook aims to empower and make OFWs aware of their rights and responsibilities, and gives them basic information on the labor and living conditions of the country of their destination.

Who will develop, publish and disseminate the OFW Handbook?”

The Republic Act (RA) 11227 will compel the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) to develop, publish and disseminate a handbook for OFWs about their rights and responsibilities.

The POEA is also tasked to update the said handbook. The amount needed to continuously publish, distribute, and update the handbook will be taken from the appropriations of the POEA. 

Who will implement?

The law mandates the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to make sure that labor and social welfare laws in the foreign countries are fairly applied to Filipino migrant workers and whenever applicable, to other overseas Filipinos, including the grant of legal assistance and the referral to proper medical centers or hospitals.

Other agencies mandated to implement the new law are the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) and the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina).

 

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AL-ULA, A Wealth of Enchanting Beauty

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The enchanting walled city of Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia’s Ancient Business District. (MA Canceran)

Continue reading

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Five Easy-to-Cook Vegetable Recipes for Busy OFWs

Diet, diet, diet! It has become a byword for millions of  OFWs who wanted to lose weight. I’m sure you have tried one of the many thousand types of diet concoctions available in the internet but what’s the result? Better yet, stay healthy by eating fresh and nutritious foods. For an OFW who’s on the go, here are five easy-to-prepare vegetable recipes for you.

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1. Flavorsome Stir-fried Kangkong with Tofu (Photo by MA Canceran)

  1. Stir-fried Kangkong with Tofu. If you want to go vegan, this is the best for you. Add to your Adobong Kangkong fresh fried tofu for your protein source. This would defintely keep you going for a day’s work. The crunchiness of the vegetable and the tofu plus the enriching flavor of fried garlic is definitely a delight!
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2. Sumptuous Sweet Potato tops Salad (Photo by MA Canceran)

2. Sweet Potato Tops Salad. I’m sure everyone is craving for this, once in a while. When you are overfed with burgers and fries and endless fried chicken and looking for something that would break the monotony of it all, Camote Tops Salad is definitely an easy choice. Just do not put excessive fish anchovy as it is not good for he health. Moderation is the key.

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3. Nutritious Clear Noodles Soup Sauted inTuna Flakes with Zucchini and Moringa (Photo by MA Canceran)

3. Clear Noodles Soup With Tuna Flakes, Zucchini and Moringa. This recipe of mine was borne out of my cravings for different kind of soup. Since the ingredients were available in my fridge, I concocted them all to have a truly rich and luscious soup-meal. Try it, you’ll love it. Promise 🙂

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4. Luscious Stir-fried Luffa (Patola) in Canned Mackerel (Photo by MA Canceran)

4. Stir-Fried Luffa in Canned Mackerel. Who wouldn’t love a vegetable sauted in the “Pambansang Pansahog ng mga OFW” – the Sardinas!  Luffa or patola has a rather comical name in both Ilocano and Ibanag vernacular. We call it “Kabatiti”. Just saute a garlic with the canned mackerel followed by the luffa and in few minutes, ready your rice bowl and have the meal of your life.

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5. Mouth-watering Plain Saluyot (Jute Leaves) Dinengdeng

5. Plain Saluyot (Jute Leaves) Dinengdeng. This one is definitely awesome! It is also a favorite vegetable of Arabs known to them as Molokhiya. The slimy, dark green leaves are an excellent nutritious food source. Unknown to many, it is also considered in the mass production of textile fibers. To prepare, just boil a cup of water, season it and put the green leaves with crashed garlic cloves to enhance its flavor and voila! you now have a ready viand enough to boost your body of the much-needed fibers and other micro-nutrients!

Which one is you top pick? Share it!

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GOOD NEWS! NO MORE HIKE IN GAS PRICES, ELECTRICITY TARIFFS, NO ADDITIONAL VAT OR TAXES, ACCORDING TO PRINCE MUHAMMAD BIN SALMAN

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Photo Courtesy of albiladailyeng.com

According to Saudi Gazette report yesterday, October 7, 2018, the moment Bloomberg published last Friday an excerpt of the much-anticipated and widely-appreciated interview of Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense, it was picked up by many websites, news channels, social media platforms and made headlines of many newspapers.

In the interview, the Crown Prince reiterated that the Kingdom will forge ahead with its ambitious reforms plans. He said that the Kingdom is much stronger today. He cited the 2019 State budget estimate which has increased to SR1.106 trillion and the incomes or non-oil revenues rose to 300%.

Crown Prince Muhammad said the unemployment rate will begin to drop as of 2019 until it reaches 7% in 2030. Although he stressed that the government is still in need of creating many jobs in the army, security agencies, education and other sectors that were created recently like sports, etc.

The Crown Prince said, “I feel the reforms today have happened. We did the reforms of gas prices in Saudi Arabia, it’s done. The electricity prices, it’s done. The water prices, it’s done. So the reform, it’s done. The taxes the VAT. It’s done. So there are no reforms in the pipeline coming that we will not do because the oil price is high. It’s already done. It’s there.”

The interview revealed that there were many discussions whether the government will continue with Citizen’s Account or rely more on giving compensations. The Citizen’s Account was the government’s wish as it ensured that citizens won’t be harmed by economic reforms.

In the interview, he said full ownership for foreign investment will be permitted in all sectors.  He also announced that Apple will open its showroom in Riyadh soon. Likewise, Tesla, will have its showroom for electric cars in a year or two.

The anti-corruption drive is yielding fruitful rewards as the government has succeeded in retrieving $35 billion (over SR131 billion), according to the Crown Prince. The campaign will be called off after two years from now.

Prince Muhammad Bin Salman reaffirmed that the Kingdom cannot compromise its national security for the interest of ties with other countries. He said, “I am not concerned how the world looks at me as much as I am concerned about the interest of my country and people. Whatever serves the Saudi people and the State, I will do it with all force.”

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Pinoy Photographers Capture the Spectacular Fireworks Display in Jeddah

Citizens and residents across the oil-rich Kingdom were treated with a spectacular display of lights, colors, sounds and shapes during the culmination of the 88th National Day of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

In Jeddah, the show was even made more dramatic with the Red Sea as its main advantage. It was staged at the seaside, along the Corniche Road, just opposite the posh Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Thousands of spectators endured the heavy traffic and the extremely high humidity just to get a glimpse of the first ever grand display of fireworks of this magnitude. Thanks to the positive changes that are happening in the country and to the General Entertainment Authority (GEA), who made all these things possible.

Seasoned Filipino photographers Francis Ting and Learn Bass, both members of MAGZ group of professional photographers, were among those who walked a few kilometers to set up their gears for this much-awaited event. Learn Bass armed himself with Nikon d7200 with 18-140mm kit lens, a gorilla pod and a wireless remote. Francis, on the other hand, used a DSLR, a GoPro and a DJI OSMO as he took both photos and videos.

Here are 10 stunning photos of the magnificent explosion of lights, colors and shapes that the duo captured.

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The green explosions dominate the Kingdom’s skyline. (Learn Bass)

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This beautiful combo of fountains and tourbillion resemble the nation’s symbol – the palm and the intertwined sword (Francis Ting)

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This blue-tailed brocade, with comets below it, is a delight to see. (Learn Bass)

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This red, blue and white chrysanthemums are probably dedicated to the nations’s allies. (Francis Ting)

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The predominantly red brocade with rising tail dwarfed the tallest fountain in the world (green) at the backdrop. (Francis Ting)

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Silver Palm Trees . The brocade or willow effect created the palm fronds. (Learn Bass)

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A spectacular combination of both fountain and brocade (Francis Ting)

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Magnificent pistil ( a peony within a peony) (Learn Bass)

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Another depiction of Saudi Emblem with silver chrysanthemums (palm fronds) and fountain swords (Francis Ting)

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These Roman Candles are truly stunning. (Learn Bass)

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A Second Source of Income is Needed

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Difficult times or not, we need to have another source of income.

There are several ways in which you can enhance your skills or learn new ones to augment your income and cope up with the change. In Western Region, there is FILCOM, which offers a wide variety of skills from AutoCad to Barbering and Baking. You may opt to enhance your culinary skills via the International Center for Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management (ICCAHM). And for those want to excel in the field of caregiving and nursing aide, the Health Alliance Training Center (HATC) offers a comprehensive training in the field.

 

Mercy Silanga, a florist in one of the shops in Jeddah, doubles on making Leche Flan, Achara  and Hopia during her free time. The income from these, she says, are more than enough to pay their utility bills here in KSA, and even in the Philippines. She is satisfied that her take home pay in her day job is left untouched.

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Pickled papaya (Achara) is one of the sources of income of Mercy Silanga.

With 5% tax imposed by the Saudi government this year, many citizens and expatriates alike have to tighten their belt to cope up with the change. Five percent means your 100 Saudi riyals in previous years have become 95 Saudi riyals worth from January 1, 2018.

The increase in basic goods and services is being felt by all. The price of petrol has been raised from 0.75 Halala to SAR 1.37 for Octane 91, an 80% increase. For Octane 95 it has hiked from 0.90 Halala to SAR 2.04.  Sadly, there are news that it is going to increase in the next fiscal year. Sugared carbonated products such as Pepsi has hiked its price from SAR 1.50 in 2017 to  SAR 2.50 for a 330ml can.  Recently, the price of electricity has also been tripled.

Adding to the burden of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and the rest of the expatriate community is the increase in government fees. But the biggest surprise is the levy on each member of an expatriate family. A move that drove thousands of families and their dependents to bid farewell to their second home since its implementation.

It is in difficult times like this that we must think of ways on how to leverage your income, just like Mercy Silanga.

There are several ways in which you can enhance your skills or learn new ones to augment your income and cope up with the change. As they say, learn before you earn.

In Western Region here in Saudi Arabia, there is the Filipino Computer and Literacy Program (FILCOM), which offers a wide variety of skills from AutoCad to barbering, baking and hairdressing. You may opt to enhance your culinary skills via the International Center for Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management (ICCAHM). And for those who want to excel in the field of caregiving and nursing aide the Health Alliance Training Center (HATC) offers a comprehensive training portfolio in both fields.

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ConGen Ed Badajos addresses the graduates of FILCOM during the 12th Training Commencement Exercises.

There has been several graduates of FILCOM who are now earning the much needed extra income. One of them is Joy Baltazar who, apart from her regular work in the salon, accepts clients for massage therapy. Besides, there are those who had found better opportunity, too. Alden Vacalares, a former electrician in one of Bin Laden’s contractors, is now a mechanical draftsman at an engineering firm after earning his certificate in Technical Drafting NC II. He now earns a lot better than his former job.

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Sunshine Feliciano, a former ICCAHM student, proudly shows her signature dish, Fiery Shrimp. She now owns Cusina ni Shine.

Sunshine Feliciano, a licensed Physiotherapist and a mother of three, recently graduated at the International Center for Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management (ICCAHM). Determined in helping her husband to make ends meet, she transformed her passion in cooking into a business, part-of-the-time. She established the Cusina ni Shine, cooking “to go” meals for busy clients, mostly fellow  Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). She said, she needed this to pay her children’s taxes that is progressively increasing on a yearly basis.

HATC, though still in its infant stage, started training students in the fields of caregiving and nursing aide. They have a comprehensive program for their trainees that includes 200 hours of hospital exposure at the International Extended Care Centre (IEC).

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The Batch 1 of HATC trainees are all smiles for their photo-op. They are now currently having their hospital exposure at the IEC.

There are also some who registered their vehicle to either Careem, Uber or Grab to earn extra. Even the Saudis have joined the bandwagon to augment their income, too.

Luis (not his real name), is now into making Biko and Siopao. He sells his items to his colleagues and surprisingly, he enjoys doing it now because of the good returns of his efforts.  If you have the talent in writing, you can start bidding for projects in several websites like the freelance.com and start writing and earning during your free time.

In times of crisis, there should be no room for complaining and blaming. As residents of our host countries, especially in Gulf States, we need to cooperate during their challenging times. And the best way to do it is to step up and “fight”; otherwise, flight could be the best option for you.

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How to Franchise MiniStop Convenience Store

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After several years of working abroad, I am sure you dream of having your own business and be your own boss. If you are ready to unleash that entrepreneurial  skill that has been laying dormant in you, coupled with good savings, you may opt to franchise MiniStop, one of the most successful convenience stores in the Philippines.

WHO IS MINISTOP?

MINISTOP is a 24-hour convenience store chain and is a franchise of Ministop Co. Ltd., one of the largest convenience store chains in Japan. The store has a wide variety of merchandise and extensive selection of ready-to-eat products.

In the Philippines, the MiniStop master franchise is owned by Robinsons Convenience Stores Inc., a subsidiary of Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. (RRHI), which is an affiliate of Robinsons Malls and JG Summit Holdings. MiniStop has been operating in the Philippines for almost 20 years now and has around 500 stores nationwide.

HOW WILL YOU BENEFIT FROM THE FRANCHISE?

Here are your key take aways if you decide to franchise MiniStop from MiniStop’s franchising information brochure:

  1. The Profit Sharing Model allows franchisees to earn more as they sell more.

2. Stores are equipped with computers to facilitate the quick and efficient exchange of data.

3. Stocks are readily available within 24 hours or less from the Distribution Center which provides daily delivery requirements.

4. Marketing Support is provided in full by constantly engaging in promotions and merchandising activities.

5. Provides Store Operations the necessary support system which includes training programs, marketing and manpower assistance, 24-hour call service center for repairs and maintenance and other daily operational concerns.”

WHAT IS REQUIRED?

Store Locations

MiniStop requires locations to:

  • Be in a strategic location such as call centers, commercial buildings, residential, institutional establishments, transport hub and school areas
  • Preferably be in a corner lot
  • Be accessible to public transport

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Franchise Fee, Investment Cost, and ROI

According to the BPI Franchising Ka-Negosyo website, the MiniStop franchise fee is P600,000. The total franchise cost, however, could be around P3 million depending on store size and layout. The expected payback period is said to be 24 to 36 months.

MiniStop offers 2 ways to franchise:

  1. Acquire an Existing Store: You can acquire an existing store from their list of branches
  2. Convert a Property: Refer a site for evaluation and turn it into a MiniStop outlet

Franchising Package Inclusions

The franchise investment includes:

  • Major Equipment: Chillers & Freezers, Sundae Machine, Granita Machine, Air Conditioner, Microwave Oven, Ready-To-Eat Showcase, Gondolas and Food Steamer
  • Minor Equipment: Rice Cooker, Rice Warmer and Water Dispenser
  • Furniture & Fixtures: Dining Equipment
  • Facade Sign

Other store support provided by MiniStop includes:

  • TRAINING: Assessment of potential store personnel.
  • REGULAR BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL REVIEW: Evaluation of your store’s performance and financials on a regular basis.
  • STORE OPERATIONS SUPPORT: Assistance on repairs, maintenance and other technical concerns through our call center team; Guidance from Operations Team.
  • MARKETING SUPPORT: Execution of storewide promotions and activities, and local store marketing support to boost your store’s sales.
  • DISTRIBUTION CENTER: Daily delivery of stocks from centralized Distribution Center.
  • BUSINESS SYSTEMS: Provide systems for POS, Merchandise and Financial Reporting.

The franchisee, meanwhile, will be in charge of and will pay for Construction Cost, Franchise Fee & Performance Bond, POS Equipment, and Initial Merchandise.

Franchising Application Steps

Here are the steps to begin your franchising journey.

Step 1: Attend the Ministop franchise presentation.

Step 2: Meet with the Franchising Team for site visit and feasibility study.

Step 3: Interview with Ministop’s key officers.

Step 4: Signing of the franchise agreement, payment of the franchise investment & submission of required permits & documents to Ministop.

Step 5: Training of franchisee and store personnel.

Contact Details

Got some more questions or clarifications about the MiniStop franchise? Contact them at:

Robinsons Convenience Stores, Inc.

110 E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue, Bagumbayan, Quezon City, Philippines

Telephone Number: (632) 635-0751 to 64

 

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The Day I Made My Mother Cry

Nanay, me and my sisters

St. Therese of Lisieux said, “The greatest masterpiece of the heart of God is the love of a mother.”

“She did all she could to nurture us, her 10 children, to be the best that we can be, with what little she had but with enormous courage and wisdom.”

Have you ever made your mother cry? I did. It was one of the ugliest moments in my life that I deeply regret.

Forever.

Just like any ordinary teenager, I was heavily involved with peers. After coming home late one evening, she was just asking me where I’ve been to in a loving, motherly tone. Brought about by the unpleasant drama I’ve had with friends, I flared up and replied in the most disgusting, disrespectful way. Trying to control her emotions, she remained calm, but tears started falling down her cheeks. Then I heard her sobbing painfully in the corner of our modest house.

When you see your mother crying, it’s a life-changing moment. Someone said, mothers cry three kinds of tears – tears of joy, tears of sorrow and tears of disappointment. She cried the latter. I have hurt her, scratched her heart and until that very day, I vowed never to make her cry again. I just love her so much that hurting her again is the next thing I will never do in my lifetime.

Now she’s gone. She’d gone so fast.

I’m still mourning her loss and I just can’t help but remember her genuine, unconditional love for us. Her extreme sacrifices, raising us in a family that is economically challenged, was a gigantic task. She did all that she could to nurture us, her 10 children, to be the best we can be, with what little she had, but with enormous courage and wisdom.

She sheltered us under her protective wings, like a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. She followed us through with prayers when we needed to fly on our own and would seldom come home.

When she went to be with the Lord, I lost a part of me, as most people who lost their mothers would say. That is true. I lost a genuine comforter. Because every time I am bruised and wanting to give up, I would run to her like a child and the pain is magically soothed away.

For more than 2 decades of working overseas, I spent little time with her. Yet, at every lowest point in my life, I would call my mother. Not to pour out my sentiments and issues but just to hear her voice. And there is always that profound feeling of euphoria – an amazing, wonderful comfort only the love of a mother could give. I felt recharged and ready to face the world again with insatiable strength. In fact I penned a short poem about it:

A Mother’s Comfort

In turbulent times,
A dose of your voice
Stops the raging wind.

Tranquility envelops,
Strength renewed.
I thank God I have you.

St. Therese of Lisieux said, “The loveliest masterpiece of the heart of God is the love of a mother.” I agree no less.

Happy birthday, Nanay. You’re a beautiful soul. It would have been your 71st.

I love you beyond forever.

 

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Driving in Saudi? Know this!

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Under the new penal chart, jaywalking and refusal to show license and registration will be fined. (Heavy Traffic at Al-Sooda Mountain Resort in Abha, Photo by MA Canceran)

Do you have a traffic violation and you’ve not settled the fine? Be informed that the General Directorate of Traffic (Muroor) announced that you have to pay within six months or be ready to face the courts.

Saudi Gazette on Thursday, September 6, 2018, reported about this new rule. It said, your computer services will be disabled until the arrears are settled. According to the government agency, the violations which will be sent to court is the accumulation of the fines reaching up to SR 20,000 OR that six months have past since the violator was first informed about the violation.

In addition, here are the traffic violations, under the new Muroor’s Penal Chart, for which you can be fined:

  1. Leaving the car open with engine  on, SR100-SR150.
  2. Jaywalking. Pedestrians crossing the street from areas not specified.
  3. Leaving the children under 10 years of age alone in the car without mature companion, SR300-SR 500.
  4. Using a smart phone or crossing the tunnel without putting the lights on, SR500-SR900.
  5. Refusal to show driving license and car registration, SR1000-SR2000.
  6. Trucks not using the right lane or cars with unclear plate numbers, SR3,000-SR6,000.
  7. Driving under the influence of liquor or drugs, a grave violation, SR5,000-SR10,000.

Drive safely!

 

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