Donning the tagline “One more Filipino saved from poverty,” the Villar SIPAG Foundation aims to deliver Filipinos away from hunger and lack of support.
Established in 1992 by Senator Cynthia Villar, the foundation supports Filipino families in their businesses, with a mission to develop and nurture the minds of aspiring entrepreneurs, who will make a difference in society.
Villar SIPAG Foundation has helped providing skills and technical education for entrepreneurs, while hoping that the beneficiaries of the program will inspire other potential entrepreneurs to learn from their success stories.
What matters most for the foundation is that the participants will absorb the values of “sipag at tiyaga,” self-discipline, and reliance that will help them conquer business-related challenges in the future.
Back in 2007, the Nacionalista Party partnered with the foundation, Sipag at Tiyaga Foundation and Vista Land as part of its 100th founding anniversary to establish the “Pondo Sipag, Puhunan sa Tiyaga” Awards to recognize and honor outstanding micro-entrepreneurs across the country.
“The awardees exemplify the collective spirit of the Filipinos in overcoming their limitations, handicaps, and personal tragedies. In the process of transforming themselves, they create positive ripple effects on their local communities, quietly and mostly without fanfare,” said former Senator Manny Villar.
The move aims to inspire and influence other entrepreneurs, especially micro-entrepreneurs, to follow in the steps of the successful one before them.
Reciprocating the heroism of OFWs
Almost two million Filipino laborers leave the country yearly to work overseas. However, due to illegal recruiters, the fate of many OFWs is uncertain when they go abroad. Some who have tried their luck overseas are led into unfortunate situations, while some are maltreated by their employees and then a few get involved in involuntary criminal operations.
As a result, non-government organizations take action in repatriating OFWs to secure their safety and even lives.
Villar SIPAG Foundation then comes into the picture to aid these distressed OFWs as it believes in the inherent courage, heroism and hard work that they possess–traits which should be reciprocated with protection, security, and service.
Villar SIPAG has provided livelihood assistance to these workers, help which they can use as they begin to start a new life here in the Philippines.
Through its partnership with other NGOs, the foundation has opened doors of opportunities for OFWs. An example of this partnership is with the Ople Center, where returning OFWs are engaged in a series of skills training which they can use in applying for local jobs or somehow, start their own businesses.