DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña  (Photo courtesy of DOST)

MANILA – A former overseas Filipino worker (OFW) will launch his software development enterprise through the Department of Science and Technology's (DOST) iFWD PH or the innovation for Filipinos Working Distantly from the Philippines program, Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said.

"After approving the first project for the innovation funding phase of the iFWD program, the DOST NCR (National Capital Region) held a virtual fund release for the Bermudez Software Labs owned by former OFW, Ruel Bermudez, marking the start of his project under the second phase of DOST's iFWD PH program," de la Peña said in a taped report aired on Friday.

He said the Bermudez Software Labs was provided with a total innovation funding of PHP210,329 for the acquisition of hardware, cloud hosting subscription, and vulnerability assessment and penetration testing for the development of the "eBarangayPH System".

Bermudez’s counterpart funding will cover web development, marketing, and training, as well as rent and utility expenses.

Earlier, de la Peña said the funding that the DOST would provide is a loan, and Bermudez would return the amount with no interest.

To get funding assistance, Bermudez would also be required to show counterpart funding -- whether in cash or equipment.

The "eBarangayPH" will merge individual information systems, including comprehensive resident, household, certificate, and crisis management systems, according to de la Peña.

"Being cloud-based, the data may be interconnected, verifiable, and downloadable. The company already created a website for eBarangayPH as one of its marketing activities," he said.

He noted that the system is hosted in a shared server with high-end specifications.

The company plans to migrate this to a dedicated server to accommodate high throughput and concurrency, alongside the development of a mobile application for both android and iOS users.

A technology-based enterprise advisor, who is also an expert in developing management information systems, will be assigned to provide technical assistance to Bermudez's startup company.

De la Peña said Bermudez worked abroad as an IT project manager and senior web developer.

He was repatriated in 2020 and is planning to stay in the Philippines for good to manage the Bermudez Software Labs.

Launched last year, the iFWD PH aims to provide opportunities to OFWs and their families to establish technology-based enterprises in the country. (PNA