Manila, Philippines – The welfare and protection of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) is a priority of the government. OFWs are encouraged to improve their lives by going into business with the help of a loan from the P2-billion National Reintegration Program Fund. The loan grant is helping ensure the socio-economic stability of returning workers and their families.
Launched June 7, 2011, during an OFW summit, the collateral-free loan is a joint project of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE), the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).
The program is in response to the 22-point labor and employment agenda of the Aquino Administration, specifically item No. 19, mandating the DoLE to facilitate the re-integration of returning OFWs through favorable terms of investments, tax incentives, access to government financial institutions, and other benefits that are offered to foreign investors, and Item No. 15, emphasizing assistance to OFWs in achieving financial stability through training, investment, and savings projects.
The Land Bank has approved the applications of 410 OFW beneficiaries since the loan fund was established last year. Businesses funded by the loans generated 1,458 jobs, mostly in food production; trading ventures in grains, general merchandise, dry goods, retail stores, farm and agricultural inputs, textile, construction and auto supply; livestock raising, fish production, vegetable growing, cutflower production, hog and duck raising, and services.
DoLE helps grantees obtain business permits from government agencies and secure marketing support, product design, and packaging services. They are trained in entrepreneurial skills to enable them to start their own business, and provided with starter kits and ready-to-go package of services.
We wish Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda D. Baldoz, Overseas Workers and Welfare Administration Administrator Carmelita S. Dimzon, Philippine Overseas Emplyment Administration Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac, Land Bank of the Philippines President and Chief Executive Officer Gilda E. Pico, and Development Bank of the Philippines President and Chief Executive Officer Francisco F. del Rosario, Jr., all the best and success in their partnership to empower overseas Filipino workers and assist them to become self-reliant. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY!