14 Simple But Creative Ways To Save Cash During Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic taught us many things – the importance of having an Emergency Fund or savings, learning how to value non-material things, how to be resilient, and the list goes on. Aside from these, the pandemic taught us how to adjust our lifestyle to be able to save more, especially now that there is a halt in overseas work.

The truth is there are tons of ways on how we can save cash during challenging times like this. In case you are looking for ideas on how to do it, then let this list guide you.

Creative And Effective Ways To Save Cash

  1. Set a budget – for everything. This is a must. Pandemic or not, having a budget is important because it helps you keep track of how much money goes in and out every month. This will also give you an idea on what expenses you can get rid of for extra cash.
  2. Grow your own food. Having your own fruits and vegetables backyard will help you in saving money instead of buying them from the market or grocery. Herbs are popular nowadays, but you can also plant calamansi, pechay, ampalaya, and other veggies in your own home.
  3. Unplug. Did you know that standby appliances could still consume electricity by as much as 10 percent? This could be added to your total electric consumption, which also means higher bill. Therefore, unplug unused appliances since it also promotes electrical safety and prevents the possibility of fire.
  4. Go for energy-efficient appliances. Even if they are in use, consumption cost will be lower, which means you get to save from electricity, too.
  5. Be mindful of your water consumption. Turn of faucet when not in use, use a glass when brushing teeth, use a pail when washing your car or watering the plants, and check for any leaks. Simple steps could go a long way when you save water. This will help reduce your water bill as well.
  6. Reduce alcohol intake. Yes, we all need to unwind but drinking alcohol could eat up a chunk from the income. Limit, if not get rid of it to be able to save more.
  7. Take advantage of sales and deals. 10.10, 11.11 – these are dates many are looking forward to because of sale and great deals online. If you NEED to buy something, then take advantage of these sales and promos so you could save more. P20 savings or free shipping fee are still savings.
  8. Let the light in. Opening your windows and letting the sun in is a good way to keep your home well-lighted. Take advantage of it since it saves electricity, too.
  9. Easy on takeouts. Cooking can be a tedious task but think about this: you get to save more. As much as possible, reduce your food deliveries.
  10. Always stick to essentials when doing the grocery. It’s tempting to buy the food you see in the supermarket, but do you really need it? As much as possible, stick to essentials. This is where you will appreciate growing your own food because you can skip certain items since you have them on your backyard. This means more savings, too.
  11. Cancel subscriptions you don’t need. Who doesn’t want entertainment? After all, we all need something to distract us from the negativity in the outside world. Still, if this form of entertainment is charging you with an amount that doesn’t suit your daily needs, then it might be best to cancel that subscription. There are many ways to keep yourself busy without breaking the wallet. But if you really need that streaming, then at least consider sharing. This way, you only get to pay half of the price.
  12. Make your own coffee. Who needs P180-worth of coffee anyway?
  13. Keep your bills. Doesn’t it feel good when you see P500 in the drawer that you accidentally forgot? If you have extra bills, then consider “hiding” them. This could come in handy during emergency.
  14. Don’t forget the coins. Surely, you have lots of coins lying around the house. Put them in a coin bank and use it. You might be surprised to find out that the coins lying around is worth a lot.

These are just simple adjustments but could benefit you in the long run. At this point, we need to think of ways to maximize and stretch the money we have, and these tips could help us become more mindful and careful with our spending. This could lead to bigger savings, too.

Know Your Rights As A Tenant, Especially In This Time Of Pandemic

One of the reasons why you decided to work overseas is because you want to have your own home. This is also the reason why you are taking multiple jobs while overseas to make sure that you can send money back home and save a few more for your future dream home.

If you haven’t fulfilled that yet, then that’s fine. Renting your own place could be an alternative – for now. Unfortunately, the pandemic forced you to go back home and wait for travel restrictions to ease to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.

Since you lost your main source of income, which also means there will be difficulty in paying the rent, the question now is this: can your landlord evict you from the place you and your family are staying?

What are your rights as a tenant?

As a tenant, your rights are protected under the Rent Control Act of 2009. Some of your rights include:

  • Limit On Rent Increase – Although landlords can impose an increase in rent every year, there is a limitation as to how much the increase can be. Rent increase should be anywhere between two and 11 percent and must only be imposed once a year.
  • No To Excessive Deposit And Advance – Under the said law, landlord can collect not more than two months deposit and one month advance rent or a total of three months. This security deposit must be kept under the landlord’s account and will be returned to the tenant upon expiration of contract. Take note that these deposits and advance may be used by the landlord to compensate for losses such as failure to pay rental fee, unpaid utility bills, and/or damage to the property.
  • Eviction Must Be Legal – Eviction is allowed when there is a justifiable reason.

When can a tenant be evicted?

The law allows landlords to evict tenants for the following reasons:

  • Expiration of Lease Contract. At this point, landlord has the option not to renew the tenant, especially those who are unruly and delinquent.
  • Overdue rental payments for at lease three months.
  • Necessary house repairs to ensure that the place is suitable and viable for living. In this case, the evicted tenant is given the priority to rent the place should s/he wishes to.
  • Subleasing the entire or a part of the leased property without the owner’s consent.
  • The owner or landlord will legitimately use the rented property. In this case, landlord must give notice to the tenant at least three months before the expiration of contract.

That being said, what constitutes illegal eviction?

  • If the landlord or owner decided to sell or mortgage the leased property, the new owner has to respect the existing lease contract. More importantly, the new owner cannot evict the tenant unless there is a justifiable reason.
  • Violating the Anti-Covid-19 Discrimination ordinance, particularly in Makati, Quezon City, Manila, Muntinlupa, and Pasig City. Landlord cannot evict the tenant regardless if you are infected or is suspected to have Covid-19. Consequently, healthcare workers cannot be evicted from leased property.
  • Failure to pay the rent during quarantine and grace periods are not grounds for eviction.

In case any of these situations happened, make sure you talk to your landlord first so you could come up with an amicable solution. Otherwise, you can request assistance from the barangay, which has the authority to settle disputes involving landlord and rental rights.

DTI Memorandum Circular 20-12

Under the said circular of the Department of Trade and Industry and pursuant to the Bayanihan Heal as One Act, property owners cannot evict tenants in ECQ, MECQ, and GCQ areas for failure to pay rental fee. There is also a mandatory 30-day grace period for tenants to start paying their rental fee.

The said circular also states that unpaid rents during the quarantine period can be settled in six monthly installments without penalties, interest, additional fees, and other charges.

Further, landlord must inform the tenant regarding the option to pay in installments.

Refusal to comply by the landlord could result to imposition of fine, jail time of two months, or both. As a tenant, you can also inform DTI regarding the illegal eviction practice so that appropriate criminal case can be filed to the landlord.

This is an extraordinary time for everyone, including landlords and tenants. At this point, it is best to keep an open communication with your landlord so you can negotiate and compromise. While you’re struggling to pay the rent, surely, your landlord is also in need of the rental payments to make ends meet.

As what they say, lahat madadaan sa magandang usapan.

Job Opportunity: How To Become A Contact Tracer

Finding a job during this time won’t be easy. Even if you want to work, there is no assurance that a company will hire you, despite your qualifications. Unfortunately, this pandemic affected most business, with many forced to close down to avoid incurring further losses. Until there is a vaccine that could put an end to the Covid-19, it will take time before we can all go back to our normal lives.

What can you do? Putting up your own business while waiting for deployment is a good idea. Apparently, there are many who are already venturing into this and it won’t be long before the market gets saturated.

If you’re looking for a good way to earn extra, then consider becoming a contact tracer.

But first, what is contact tracing?

Contact tracing is the process of identifying, evaluating, following up, and managing individuals that could have been or were exposed to the Covid-19 virus. If conducted effectively, contact tracing could:

  • Interrupt ongoing transmission
  • Lower the risk of spreading the virus
  • Inform and alert individuals who are at risk of getting the infection
  • Offer preventive care or counseling

As of this writing, the government allocated P5-billion for this and are currently open to hiring 50,000 contact tracers. 20,000 will be deployed in Luzon while Visayas and Mindanao will have 15,000 contact tracers each.

What does it mean to be a contact tracer?

According to the World Health Organization, a contact tracer has three main responsibilities:

  • Identification

As a contact tracer, you need to identify the possible individuals that the person with Covid-19 came in contact or interacted with. This includes members of the family, friends, co-workers, and even people in the places s/he went to.

  • Contact Listing

This responsibility covers creation of list of all contacts of the infected person. Consequently, those included in the list will be notified regarding the status of the person with Covid-19 as well as what they can do in case of close contact. Contact tracers must also provide necessary information on how to prevent transmission.

  • Follow Up

Contact tracer must also monitor symptoms and follow up contacts for possible signs of infection.

What do you need to be a contact tracer?

  • Ability to collect data
  • Understands and respects the concept of patient confidentiality
  • Great interpersonal skills
  • Can explain Covid-19 clearly and in a manner that is easy to understand
  • Must have ethical and professional conduct
  • Ability to conduct interviews while maintaining patient confidentiality
  • Must be resourceful in collecting, locating, and communicating not just with the infected person but also individuals with possible exposure

Application is open to ALL, although applicants with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology and Health-related course will be given priority.

Is there a required training before you can become a contact tracer?

As of this writing, TESDA is offering an online course for contact tracer training.

With the help of the Department of Health and other health industry experts, TESDA was able to develop a training program that equips potential tracers with necessary skills needed for the job. The aim is to provide “world class and competent human resources for contact tracing.”

The training program will run for 15 days, which includes both online and face-to-face learning.

You can access the free training here.

How much can you earn?

Contact tracers have a salary grade 9, which means you can earn at least P18,000 every month.

Take note that the job is only temporary. although the agency is pushing for one year employment. Nevertheless, this is a good source of income in the meantime.

Where to Apply

The Department of Interior and Local Government, including its regional offices, are responsible for handling applications of potential contact tracers.

Are you interested? Simply visit the DILG office near you to apply because who knows, you might be qualified.

Project EASE: P10,000 Financial Assistance For OFW Children

According to the Department of Education, there are seven million Filipino children who did not enroll for the school year 2020 – 2021 (1). This is not a good sign.

Unenrollment may be due to several factors: lack of confidence on how effective distance learning is or limitation on tools and access to technology. On the other hand, the most common reason is lack of funds as a result of the parents’ unemployment.

For OFW families, this could also be the problem. The OFW sector is heavily hit by the pandemic as thousands of migrant workers were either repatriated or no longer allowed to leave due to strict restrictions whether in the Philippines or host country (2).

In line with the this, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration or OWWA launched Project EASE, an educational aid for OFW families.

What Is Project EASE?

Educational Assistance through Scholarship in Emergencies or Project EASE is an education assistance to qualified college-dependents of active OWWA members whose employment was affected by the pandemic since February 1, 2020. By active members, this could mean:

  • Land-based workers
  • Sea-based workers
  • Balik Manggagawa

This educational assistance provides P10,000 per annum for a maximum of four years.

So far, the agency allocated P400 million for the implementation of the project on its first year.

Who are qualified for this educational assistance?

Eligible dependent of active OWWA members include:

  • Child of married or single parent – OFW
  • Sibling of single OFW

The beneficiary can also be an incoming college freshman or currently enrolled in college.

For married OFW couples, you are only entitled to only one slot.

Take note that if your dependent is already getting other educational assistance from OWWA such as Education for Development Scholarship Program or EDSP, ODSP, or ELAP-Education, then s/he can no longer avail of the benefits of Project EASE.

What are the requirements?

  1. Accomplished Application Form. You can access the form by clicking on this link.
  2. Valid passport of OFW-member
  3. Flight ticket of boarding pass or arrival stamp/sticker attached in the passport. This will serve as evidence that the active OWWA member arrived in the country after February 1, 2020.
  4. Official Receipt or other proof of validation that will show that the OFW is also an active OWWA member
  5. Student-applicant’s proof of relationship to OWWA member such as Birth Certificate for married or single parent OFW OR Certificate of No Marriage and Birth Certificates of both the OFW and the sibling if active member is single.
  6. Certificate of Grades of the student-applicant indicating the grades from last school year or semester. Take note that there should be NO failing grade in any subject.

How to Apply For Project EASE

  1. Fill out the online application form.
  2. Submit all the requirements through the OWWA RWO email. You can check this link for the OWWA Regional Welfare Office that covers your area.
  3. You will receive a tracking number or serial reference, which will be sent on your registered mobile number or email address. You can use this reference to monitor the status of your application. In case of incomplete documents, the respective OWWA RWO will also inform you through SMS or email.
  4. If approved, OWWA will send you a Scholarship Agreement. Download, print, and then sign the document. This must also be notarized.
  5. Send the Scholarship Agreement via courier on the designated OWWA RWO that handled the application.
  6. Financial assistance will be sent to the designated bank account. Take note that the bank account must be under the name of the beneficiary. Otherwise, you will be required to open a savings account under your child or sibling’s name.

Keep in mind that this educational assistance will not cover your child or sibling’s entire tuition fee. Nonetheless, it could help augment various expenses like books and other school materials.

For more details, you can visit OWWA website.

Note: Balikbayad is NOT affiliated or related with OWWA. This article is merely for informational purposes only.

Reference:

(1) https://rappler.com/nation/teachers-group-says-millions-students-still-unenrolled-july-13-2020

(2) https://www.manilatimes.net/2020/08/11/opinion/editorial/repatriation-of-ofws-is-a-national-obligation/753655/

How To Manage Finances With Your Spouse At The Time Of Pandemic

As a couple, it is normal to share everything together. This is part of sharing a life together. By sharing, this also includes finances.

Pre-pandemic, you and your spouse have a game plan – you work overseas and send money back home while s/he will attend to your growing family. Then, there’s a side business, too, for additional income.

Unfortunately, the pandemic changed your – and everyone’s – financial game plan. All of a sudden, you were repatriated with only separation benefits on your pocket. Then, you start to wonder what will happen to your family? How can you manage your finances now that you are unemployed?

We hope these tips help:

Tip No. 1: Be Honest About Your Situation

There’s no point in lying or sugarcoating your current situation. At this stage, you need to be honest about what is happening. Have a formal communication where you can both talk about:

  • The family’s current financial situation
  • Any existing loans
  • Other possible sources of income aside from remittance
  • Adjustments to be made by every member of the family
  • Strategies on how your family can “ride it out” until you can go back to your work overseas

It won’t be easy to lay everything on the table but this is the only way. Do not keep any secrets and just inform each other about any money concerns later on when everything blew up to your faces. You need to know what is happening so you and your spouse could create a more effective budget and come up with solutions on how you can address the situation – together.

Tip No. 2: Know Your Needs Before Wants

The pandemic took a toll in everything we know is normal. In fact, it affected everyone, big and small, rich or otherwise.

Now that we need cash more than ever, it’s time identify as a couple what your family needs. These are non-negotiable essentials like food and a place to stay, so make sure budget is allotted for that. Then, make a list of the things and expenses you can dispense with. At this time, needs must come first because this will help you and your family survive the tide.

Tip No. 3: Review Your Finances

Aside from identifying your needs over wants, it’s also a must to review your finances.

Make a list of all your existing loans as well as monthly expenses. This will help you identify which expenses you can eliminate. At the same time, you can check what loans need to be paid first based on either the earliest due date or higher interest rate.

Again, honesty is important to be able to manage your finances effectively. This will also help you devise a proper plan on how to ensure continuity even during the pandemic.

Tip No. 4: Make Necessary Adjustments

Now that you are both aware of the current financial standing, it’s time to make adjustments as a family.

This means you need to forego certain expenses like takeouts or online shopping. You and your family must also be mindful of your consumption, especially when it comes to water and electricity. Adjustments must be collective and not just done by one or two persons. Otherwise, you might have a hard time riding out this pandemic if you stick to your old ways.

In other words, work as a team.

Tip No. 5: Look For Other Means Of Income

You and your family survive with remittance, until Covid-19 happened. Income is limited and let’s face it, money is an issue.

That being said, come up with ways on how you can improve your standard of living. Look for other means to earn money either by applying for job or putting up your own business, regardless of how small it is. You might know someone who is looking for your services, so take advantage of your network.

The bottom line is both you and your spouse, together with the kids, must help each to be able to survive this pandemic.

If you’re looking for an easier way to finance your business, then you should know that Balikbayad is here to help. You can apply online and we will get back to you as soon we can.

Dealing With Unemployment At The Time Of Pandemic

The latest data shows that 45.5 percent or 23.7 million Filipinos are unemployed as of July 2020. This is an all-time high considering the unemployment rate last December 2019, which is at 17.5 percent. The highest unemployment rate prior to lockdown was recorded

There are many reasons attributed to unemployment. Apparently, the most obvious of such is the longest-running lockdown that forced people to stay at home and caused businesses to close, initially temporarily and eventually, permanently.

OFWs are also affected. Those who were in their host countries were repatriated since their employers were likewise forced to shut down or suspend their business and lay off “redundant” workers. OFWs who were about to go to their respective host countries were forced to stay home due to the lockdown.

But first, what is unemployment?

For the Social Weather Stations or SWS, unemployment means the worker or employee:

  • Voluntarily left his or her job
  • Looking for a job for the first time
  • Lost their existing employment due to economic circumstances beyond their control

In this situation, the Covid-19 pandemic caused many businesses, specifically Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises or MSMEs, to close down and stop their operations to minimize business losses.

Worse, no sector was spared. Regardless of where you are in the country, unemployment rate is at its peak, which is at 40-something mark. Women were greatly affected with unemployment rate at 56 percent.

In terms of age group, the younger generation were affected the most. Unemployment rate for those between 18 and 24 years of age is pegged at 63 percent. This age group was followed by those between 25 and 34 years old at 49 percent.

Unfortunately, it’s not easy to find a job as of this writing. The country – and many others around the world – is experiencing recession. This means the economy is gloomy and it will take time before the country gets back on its feet.

What can you do if you become unemployed?

This doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do about this. If you are part of the statistics, then there are ways to help you ride this out and survive.

These tips might help:

  • Claim for Unemployment Benefits

Even if you lost your job as a result of pandemic, employers are still obligated to give you your separation pay and other benefits. Talk to the HR Department and submit necessary requirements to make a claim.

  • Make Use Of Government Assistance Programs

The good news is help is still available. The government, through Bayanihan Heal As One Act, launched several financial assistance programs through various agencies.

Still, take note that not all request for financial assistance will be granted. This will still depend on the availability of funds despite submitting complete requirements.

  • Watch Out For Any Job Openings

Despite high unemployment rate, there are still companies that are hiring. Consider looking into job hiring sites to check if there are openings fit for your skills and work experience.

Online work is also available these days. Make sure you ask around from friends and relatives if they know someone who are in need of your skills.

Looking for a new job could be tiring, but you have to try it, right?

  • Start Your Own Small Business

While waiting for a new job, consider starting your own small business.

A lot of people turned to social media to promote their products or service. You can do the same. The income may not be as big compared to how much you’re earning overseas, but this could be a good source.

Check out this post for small business ideas you can try.

Unemployment is a tough situation to be in, especially at the time of pandemic. Still, don’t lose hope. You and your family will get through this.

What Happens If You Cannot Pay Your Loan On Time?

Covid-19 affected everyone’s lives, mostly in a bad way. Businesses are closing. Livelihood is lost. Job opportunities are gone. You find yourself either on your way back to Philippines together with other OFWs who were repatriated or staying in the country – in the meantime – while waiting for deployment.

Since your employment overseas was postponed, you might be worried about a lot of things including the loans you have to pay.

That being said, what happens in case of delay in loan payments?

First, Let’s Define Loan Default

Every loan contract specifies loan details, including loan term and penalty clause. Loan default is when you are unable to pay your monthly loan payments for a certain period. This is different from loan delinquency wherein loan is unpaid for a long time.

Usually, lenders, particularly large banks, give up to 90 days grace period before they can tag a borrower in default. After 90 days and no payment is still given, your account will be classified as “in default.”

When this happens, the following situations follow:

Situation No. 1: Debt Will Pile Up

This is the most obvious effect of non-payment of loans. Your loan is continuous, which means interest will accrue. You also have to pay for penalty fees and other charges, which don’t come cheap. Some charge penalty fee for every day the loan remains unpaid.

This simply means the principal amount won’t decrease but the charges are continuously increasing. Your P5,000 loan could double or even triple and you won’t even notice.

Situation No. 2: Involvement Of Collection Agency

Lenders have dedicated department or group of people in charge of collection. They will send collection statements and demand payment of loans. Apparently, this will only last for a certain time. After a given period, unpaid accounts will be sent to collection agencies, who will now demand payment of loans. Oftentimes, these agencies are more aggressive compared to lenders.

Situation No. 3: Foreclosure Of Assets

One of the worse things that could happen to someone is seeing your hard-earned assets taken from you. Lenders don’t want this to happen, which is why foreclosure through public auction is the last resort.

Sadly, lenders will be forced to take your car or house if you are unable to pay your loan. Still, this is their way of recovering from their losses for lending money.

Don’t be complacent. You will still have to pay for the balance in case the cost of your property is not enough to cover the loan, including additional charges.

Situation No. 4: Poor Credit Score

Credit score is crucial, especially when you apply for a loan. This shows how financially responsible you are as a borrower. The lower your score, the higher the chances of getting your loan application rejected. Even if your loan application is approved, you will be given a higher interest rate.

There are many actions that will warrant a low credit score. This includes non-payment of loans.

Loan Default At The Time Of Pandemic

As of this writing, the Credit Information Corporation urged banks not to declare loan defaults during the pandemic (1). The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas also gave banks until March 2021 to reclassify their respective borrowers’ past due loans. This way, borrowers will have time to keep up with payments and prevent them from defaulting.

Still, don’t rely on this alone. If you have existing loans, then talk to your lender immediately. Discuss and negotiate what can be done so you can slowly pay for your debts and avoid being in default.

A debt is still a debt. Even if there is pandemic, you still have to be responsible for your loan. Pay it little by little instead of none at all.

Small Business Ideas You Can Try Even With Low Capital

If you’re an OFW, you’re either in the country where you’re working or back in the Philippines, which is most likely the latter.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, more than 31,000 OFWs as of May 2020 – and this number is still increasing (1). Aside from this, thousands of Filipino workers are unable to leave the country to work overseas. Surely, this created an impact, especially financially.

Still, this doesn’t mean it’s over. The pandemic affected everyone’s way of life and living but this doesn’t mean you cannot do something about it. While you’re still awaiting deployment or planning to look for a new job, here are business ideas you can do first and who knows, this could venture into something bigger:

PASTRY BUSINESS

Who doesn’t love sweets? If you or anyone in the family have a knack for baking, then you can put those skills into good use and start baking. The good thing about this business is that you need less than P10k for capital, especially if you already have basic tools like mixer and measuring devices.

Chocolate chip cookies and brownies are common favorites but if you want people to notice, then think of something that is not yet offered in the market. Remember the ube cheese pandesal craze?

FOOD TRAYS

If baking is not your passion, then cooking could bring in some extra cash – and this is doing good, so far. Many people are always in the lookout for new dishes to try and if you happen to have a family favorite, then why not share and sell it?

Weekly meal plans are also click these days since many people are starting to become more conscious. If you opted for this, then careful meal planning is necessary since you have to prepare four meals for one week.

Costing is crucial, so don’t sell your products too low to lose profit or too high to lose customers. Explore your options when sourcing your products. Supermarkets have higher prices but you are assured of the safety and cleanliness of the food products.

DELIVERY SERVICE

Grab, Lalamove, and Mr. Speedy are in demand nowadays. If you prefer a set-up you can control, why not partner with online sellers you know and offer delivery services? You will have to service a few instead of waiting for the transaction to come in. You can negotiate your fees as well, so it’s a win-win situation for both parties.

Still, this requires a smartphone and motorcycle. If you already have one, then make use of it now. Otherwise, you have to buy one, which will cost P40,000 or less, depending on the brand.

PALAMIG OR HOMEMADE DRINKS

Milk tea are popular for quite sometime. But if you want to stand out in the market, then offer drinks that caters to health-conscious individuals or those who are into a specific diet.

Selling drinks is among the low-cost but profitable business ideas because let’s face it, who doesn’t drink, right? It’s a hit, too, regardless of the weather.

WEB DESIGN SERVICES

if you or anyone in the family has a knack for anything tech-related, then consider this business. Web design is in demand these days because many companies are transitioning and slowly going digital. A lot of startup companies are also in need of this service, so take advantage of this as well.

BECOME A RESELLER

Thinking of what to sell and making these products can be time consuming. The good news is there are tons of online sellers who are looking for resellers of their products. This way, they could reach a wider market – and this is where you come in.

What’s good about being a reseller is that you don’t have to be involved in the actual process. You can also re-sell multiple products, as long these products are not directly competing. This could result to higher income as well.

Storage is an important factor, especially if you will resell frozen goods. Make sure you have sufficient space as well and always be mindful of your inventory.

This pandemic compromised your plans for your family but this doesn’t mean you cannot do something to salvage the situation. Business may be slow and small at first but with hard work, effort, and help from family and friends to support your venture in social media, things will get better soon. Have faith.

Source:

(1) https://www.dfa.gov.ph/dfa-news/dfa-releasesupdate/26872-dfa-brings-total-number-of-repatriated-filipinos-to-over-30k

How To Start Your Small Business

Covid-19 pandemic affected everything – livelihood of the people, way of life, and even the country’s economy. OFWs were also heavily affected. Many Filipinos abroad were sent back since their companies reduced workforce, temporarily closed, or decided to shut down to minimize losses. A lot of Filipinos who were about to go to their country destination were unable to leave due to travel restrictions.

As a result, OFWs and their families are constantly looking for means to survive.

The government offered financial aid but let’s face it, not everyone can get some help. Even if you qualified for the cash assistance programs, what you’ll get won’t be enough to help you and your family survive for the next weeks.

This is where starting your own business comes in. If you’re wondering how and where to start, then let this post guide you.

Know What To Sell

This is the first thing you need to identify first. Before you get into selling, you need to establish what to sell first.

There are many things you can sell but during this time of pandemic, people resort well to food. If your family could boast one dish, then don’t be afraid and offer it in the market. Or you can create your own to set your business apart from the rest.

Nonetheless, don’t limit yourself to food. Retail is also a good market where you can sell any goods. If there’s a service you can provide, then advertise that as well.

Determine The Budget

This is the next step. Even if you have the perfect product or service in mind, you need to determine how much you’re willing to shell out for this business.

Keep in mind that you need to consider various expenses such as business permits, renovation of the place, or rent. Include this in your budget planning to check if you can start a business while minimizing loss.

If you can, then get a business partner. This will divide everything including budget and responsibilities. Just make sure that you trust the person completely since good relationship is a must.

Find Your Sources

Now that you identified what to sell and determined how much your budget is, it’s time to find your sources.

This is also crucial. There are several sellers that offer a particular raw material so make sure you go to someone who offers the most affordable price. It will take time but scouting for the the most affordable products will give you more flexibility when it comes to your pricing. You might even offer the lowest price in the market.

Make Sure You’re Registered

BIR reminded online sellers to register their businesses and file income taxes if applicable.

Government agencies or entities that you need to apply to for permits are:

  • DTI for business name
  • SEC for partnership entities
  • BIR for tax purposes
  • Local government or respective for the business permits

It’s better to comply with them early on to avoid issues.

Sell Your Products

How do you plan to sell your products? Having a space could help because it helps boost your legitimacy as a seller. Because of the pandemic, not many people are willing to go out and prefer doing their thing online.

Therefore, the easiest way to sell your products is through social media. Facebook and Instagram are effective platforms so make sure to capitalize on that. Don’t forget to take really good, captivating photos to entice your would-be customers.

Are you ready to start your business? It may be small for now but with the right mindset, proper care and attention, and good service to your customers, this will eventually get big.

Looking For A New Job In The Time Of Pandemic

Losing a job is one of the many concerns affecting millions of Filipinos here and overseas. Many OFWs are also repatriated, with the repatriation count more than 50,000. As much as you want to continue with your employment overseas, most countries still have restrictions to limit the arrival of non-citizens.

What do you do now? How do you go from here? What can you do to ensure that your family still has food on the table and bills will be paid at the end of the day?

Since your overseas employment is affected, you have no choice but to look for available options in the Philippines. You may not be earning the same amount of money from working abroad but this could help you get through the tough times.

Below are tips and tricks that will help as you look for a new job – for now:

Tip No. 1: Ask your recruitment agency.

The truth is the opportunities for overseas employment are still there. In fact, many legitimate recruitment agencies continuously post job openings for various countries like Taiwan, Qatar, and UAE.

Contact your preferred agency or look into their website or social media pages to see their job openings. If a job fits your skills. then apply for it. Submit your application online and who knows, you might be able to work again.

Tip No. 2: Look into job database websites.

Apart from the recruitment agency, several job database websites regularly post job openings. Take a look into that as well since there might be a job that is suitable to your skills.

Again, the pay may be less than what you are earning abroad but a job in the Philippines is better than nothing. Explore your options. Don’t forget to update your resume and include latest work experience as well as any trainings you had.

Tip No. 3: Consider online work.

If going out of the house for work doesn’t sound pleasant to you, then try online work.

Online jobs are in demand these days. Take advantage of that and apply to jobs that caters to your skills. The good thing about this is that you don’t have to go out and increase your risk of getting the virus. Everything will be done online, so make sure you also have a stable Internet connection if you will consider this option.

Tip No. 4: Use your connection.

Not all employment opportunities are posted on job database. Some are referral from friends, neighbors, or even relatives.

Now that you’re in the country, why not tap your circle? Ask around if they know someone who might need your skills and experience? They could also refer you to their company in case there are job openings. Of course, you still have to apply but at least, your chances are higher since you were referred by someone from the company itself.

This is why it is important that you maintain a good relationship with anyone. Avoid confrontations or burning bridges with someone. You’ll never know when you’ll need them.

Tip No. 5: Create your own work.

Or another option would be to start your own employment.

The government has several financial assistance programs for OFWs. Take advantage of that and use it to help you grow your money.

Starting an online business now is easier and more convenient because of the available platforms. Utilize those platforms to your advantage. It’s okay to start small because with consistency and hard work, you might be able to grow your business.

The point is don’t give up. It seems like there is a limitation to possibilities but eventually, this pandemic will be over. You will get through this.