MANILA—Malacañang on Thursday welcomed developments in a main public thoroughfare that would benefit motorists in Northern Luzon and incentives for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) returning to the country.
In his regular press briefing on Thursday, March 16, Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has opened the Mega Bridge in Cagayan Valley worth PHP631 million.
“Aside from enhancing the trade and tourism of the regions of Cagayan Valley, Ilocos, and the Cordilleras, the newly constructed 825-meter bridge will also secure the safety and ease of transportation of the motorists,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Abella announced that starting next month, returning OFWs need not pay the terminal fee once they arrive in the Philippines.
This, he said, as the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) together with representatives of air carriers.
“The MOA will remove the International Passenger Service Charge (IPSC) or terminal fee of PHP550 for overseas Filipino workers effective 30th of April,” Abella said.
Relatedly, he announced that personal remittances have increased by 8.5 percent in January 2017.
Abella noted that “an 8.5 percent year-on-year increase for January in personal remittances from overseas Filipinos have amounted to USD .4 billion.”
“Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando Tetangco explained that the 13.5 percent growth in transfers from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more contributes to the increase in personal remittances,” Abella added.
In the same briefing, the Presidential spokesperson said 44 Bohol farmer beneficiaries have received their Certificate of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) from the government.
“The Department of Agrarian Reform has given Certificates of Land Ownership [Award] — totaling to [41.2495] hectares in Jagna, Alicia and Gatigbian, Bohol — to 44 farmer beneficiaries,” Abella said.
Citing figures from Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Grace B. Fua, he said land acquisition and distribution (LAD) in Bohol has already reached an accomplishment rate of 97 percent.