MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno S. Aquino III is encouraging overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to avail of loans from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) that will help them start their own businesses in the country.
According to a press statement from OWWA, President Aquino launched a P2-billion reintegration program that would lend P300,000 to P2-million to OFWs at an interest rate of 7.5 per cent per annum.
The OFWs and their families can use the loans to start and support the development and operation of small enterprises when they return from their overseas jobs.
President Aquino launched the program during the First National Congress of OFWs and their Families during the Migrant Workers Day last June 7 at the SMX Convention Center.
Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz read the letter from the president, wherein he said, “This reintegration fund is intended to give you the opportunity to start your chosen businesses and not need foreign deployment anymore to help your families.”
The P2-billion fund will consist of P1-billion from the trust funds of OWWA, with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) each contributing P500-million.
The loans for working capital or purchase of fixed assets are payable within 7 years.
OFWs who are active members or were once members of OWWA who have now returned home are qualified to apply for a loan.
The President also said that other government agencies will assist the OFWs in building their businesses.
But a group of OFWs have slammed the reintegration program, alleging that the funds will come directly from the OFWS, with the government not doling out any money.