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Cong. Lani calls for P50K ‘credit line’ for OFWs
BACOOR CITY, Cavite – Bacoor Representative Lani Mercado-Revilla pushes for establishing a credit assistance program for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) through House Bill (HB) No. 3378.
The said bill protects OFWs, especially those who are new hires, from indebtedness and predation before they leave the country in search of a better life.
“Our OFWs resort to borrowing or a salary deduction scheme due to the high cost of recruitment and placement fees. Reality is many are vulnerable still to illegal recruitment, contract, and visa deception,” the bill stated.
“It is high time that our government steps in and alleviates the financial burden experienced by our modern-day heroes and helps their families,” said Mercado-Revilla.
The lady legislator recognizes that despite the clear and obvious economic benefits that the government derives from the remittances of migrant workers, OFWs and their families are often financially “hard up.”
In 2020, the total remittance sent by OFWs reached $29.9 billion. In 2021, OFW remittance hit an all-time high at $31.4 billion, which accounted for 8.9% of the country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
“Our migrant workers already endure a lot of sacrifices just to be able to provide a comfortable life for their loved ones while helping to strengthen the economy. Let us strengthen our support for them by approving this measure,” Mercado-Revilla added.
With a valid contract, an OFW may avail of a loan up to P50,000.00 from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to defray the living expenses of the OFW’s family in the few months of his/her absence, as well as other expenses incurred in the processing of the OFW’s employment. The loan shall be paid in twelve (12) equal monthly installments or more, but not exceeding twenty-four (24) months, at a preferred interest rate not to exceed six percent (6%) per annum.
Corollary to this arrangement, OWWA can monitor and check the status of the OFW’s condition.
HB 3378 is also co-authored by Congressman Ramon “Jolo” Revilla III of the First District of Cavite and AGIMAT Party-list Representative Bryan Revilla.