A bill is currently being developed in Congress to provide a credit assistance program for the backbone of Philippine economy; the country’s overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Baguio Rep. Nicasio Aliping Jr., who is spearheading the effort, said that House Bill 4985 – the Act Establishing a Credit Assistance Program for Overseas Filipino Workers – has been approved on third and final reading in the House.
The bill – which aims to provide credit assistance to OFWs prior to their departure from the Philippines – allows for a maximum of P50,000 to be loaned from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). The loan may be used to finance cost of living of the OFW or their family in the initial months of absence, during which the adjustment period is greatest.
“The loan can also be used to pay for recruitment expenses including placement fees, documentation costs and plane tickets,” Alping Jr. added.
“The loan shall be covered with loan Redemption Insurance from any private insurance provider duly registered and accredited by the Insurance Commission. The loan would be paid in 12 monthly installments at a preferred interest rate of not more than six percent per annum,” he explained.
There are an estimated 13.5 million Filipinos working in foreign countries.