DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez (1st row, 2nd from left) said the move is part of President Duterte’s Tapang at Malasakit campaign to help Filipinos live more comfortable lives without having to leave the country and their families. Also in the photo are (1st row, from left) OWWA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac, DOLE Secretary and OWWA chairperson Silvestre Bello, TESDA director general Isidro Lapen?a, and TESDA deputy director general Rebecca Calzado.
DTI, OWWA, TESDA tie up to help returning OFWs
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - May 3, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has entered into an agreement with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to help returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) set up their own businesses.

In a statement yesterday, the DTI said the memorandum of agreement (MOA) to work together to train and extend loans to returning OFWs was signed with the OWWA and TESDA on May 1.

Present during the MOA signing are Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, OWWA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac, Labor Secretary and OWWA chairperson Silvestre Bello, TESDA director general Isidro Lapeña and TESDA deputy director general Rebecca Calzado.

Under the MOA, OWWA will refer OFWs interested to have their own business to TESDA for skills training, and to the DTI for entrepreneurship seminars.

In addition to seminars, the DTI will be providing loans to OFWs through the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) Program.

The DTI is implementing the P3 Program as a form of support to micro, small and medium enterprises by providing them access to financing.

This lending program was launched in line with President Duterte’s directive to eliminate the “5-6” lending system which has resulted in individuals falling into a debt trap.

In the “5-6” system, individuals can get loans without collateral or any documentary requirements but have to pay exorbitant interest rates of 20 percent or higher.

Through the P3 Program, individuals can borrow P5,000 up to P200,000, depending on the requirement and repayment capacity without collateral.

Interest rate and service fees for the loans are capped at 2.5 percent per month.

Lopez said the partnership with OWWA and TESDA is in line with the government’s campaign to encourage more Filipinos to stay in the country and help them take advantage of opportunities.

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