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House okays credit program for OFWs

Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - November 4, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a bill establishing a credit assistance program for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

The committee on overseas workers affairs, chaired by Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello, endorsed Bill 4985, known as Overseas Workers Credit Assistance Act.

“The bill mandates that an OFW can avail of a loan of not more than P50,000 from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to defray the living expenses of his or her family during the first months of absence or to pay for recruitment expenses, documentation costs and plane tickets,” Bello said.

He said a relative of the worker could be a co-borrower.

He said the loan would carry an annual interest rate of not more than six percent and would be payable in 12 monthly installments.

He added that the planned credit assistance program would cover only OFWs with valid employment contracts processed through licensed recruitment and manning agencies accredited by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

Under the bill, OWWA would accredit local and foreign banks where OFWs could remit their loan payments to OWWA or debit them from their bank accounts.

OWWA is mandated to establish an online payment system to make it easier for overseas workers to remit payments.

A worker who does not pay for his loan would not be able to obtain the required Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) and any other exit permit or clearance to work abroad.                         

 

 

 

AKBAYAN REP BILL HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OVERSEAS OVERSEAS EMPLOYMENT CERTIFICATE OVERSEAS WORKERS CREDIT ASSISTANCE ACT OVERSEAS WORKERS WELFARE ADMINISTRATION PHILIPPINE OVERSEAS EMPLOYMENT ADMINISTRATION WALDEN BELLO WORKERS
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