Together with my partner Ferdz Sabado who is a Microsoft certified software programmer, I am developing an OFW Digital Information Network (ODIN) project.

Unlike other job information sites wherein the job applicants will be the one to search, ODIN will be a site where recruitment agencies will be the ones who will search for qualified candidates for overseas jobs.

To be clear, Ferdz and I are not in the recruitment business, therefore we do not need a recruitment license. Instead, we are in the information business.

Ferdz and I both agree that we will be providing a much needed service not only to the recruitment agencies, but also to the job applicants themselves. That is so, because the recruitment agencies could save a lot of money by not spending money on their “help wanted” advertising placement.

On the other hand, the job applicants need not spend too much money anymore just to go around applying at each and every agency. For that matter, they could just apply online, and that means they do not have to travel to Metro Manila if they live in the provinces.

As much as possible, Ferdz and I will also try our best to screen the participating recruitment agencies, in order to weed out those who are illegal, and those who have negative records. In line with that, we will also install a feedback mechanism, so that job applicants can rate the service quality of the recruitment agencies, in a way similar to the rating system of Grab and AirBnB.

Aside from that, Ferdz and I will also include an artificial intelligence (AI) feature that will help the recruitment agencies in selecting the most qualified candidates, based on available data.

Conversely, it will also help the job applicants to choose the most reliable recruitment agencies, also based on available data. We believe that ODIN will be the first AI driven job matching platform in the Philippines.


There is a social dilemma in many places that needs an immediate solution. I am here to offer a solution, and I hope that the civil society will listen.

The problem is that not all indigenous communities are able to qualify for Certificates of Ancestral Domain Titles (CADTs) and because of that, they do not have places that they could occupy to live on, and to derive their livelihoods from. In the meantime, there are plenty of vacant lands around them that are owned by the government, but they could not apply for titles to these lands, because they do not have the proper historical claims to these areas.

The solution is right there underneath our noses, but we have not thought of it, because it simply did not occur to us.

According to the laws, any natural or juridical person for an Integrated Forest Management Agreement (IFMA), or any other similar government program under the DENR. What that means is that any indigenous community that has registered an association of any kind could apply for an IFMA, as an alternative to applying for CADTs. They can do this anywhere there are vacant forest lands.

There are many advantages that could be derived from this approach. Firstly, their agricultural production could contribute to food security. Secondly, their tree growths could contribute to claims for carbon credits. Thirdly, the same tree growths could also be used to claims under the debt for nature swap scheme. Fourthly but not the least, the tree growths could also prevent erosion in the mountains.

Of course, the trees could also contribute to water retention. Since the IFMAs are valid for 25 years and are renewable for another 25 years, that should give them enough time to earn enough money to eventually buy their own lands that will economic security for the long term.

If you know of any indigenous community that would like to avail of this approach, please let me know.Ike Señeres