P108-M OFW loans okayed-A A +A
Friday, January 6, 2012
THE Land Bank of the Philippines already approved the applications of some 177 overseas Filipino worker (OFW) beneficiaries worth P108,054,000 under the government’s P2-billion national reintegration program.
A yearend report from the National Reintegration Center for OFWs showed that of the borrowers coming from various regions including Western Visayas, most were overseas Filipino workers from the Middle East and that of the 177 borrower-beneficiaries, 52 were females.
Around 40.55 percent of the loans released were for OFW borrower-beneficiaries who are into trading, while 22.22 percent were into agri-business.
It added that trading ventures include grains, general merchandise, farm and agricultural inputs, textile, construction and auto-supply, while agri-businesses involve animal raising, fish production, vegetable growing and cut-flower production.
The loan is managed by the Land Bank and the Development Bank of the Philippines, with an annual rate of 7.5 percent, a flexible payment scheme maximum of five years to pay and an incentive grace period of two years. An OWF can borrow a maximum of P2 million.
“The reintegration loan fund is a low-interest, collateral-free and no-conduit loan offered by the government to returning OFWs who would like to go into business or who are already into existing business undertakings,” the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) earlier said.
As this developed, Dole Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said in yesterday’s statement that she already tasked the National Wages and Productivity Commission to establish within this month in-house teams in the Dole regions that will continue to assist the program beneficiaries after they have borrowed money to finance their businesses.
“This is the first time that the Dole is viewing the national reintegration program in the longer term. I want the OFW loan beneficiaries to be assured that the Dole is still there to provide them assistance after they have received their loans,” she said.
The assistance may range from helping the beneficiaries obtain business permits from other government agencies such as the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Interior and Local Government, to providing them with marketing support, product design and packaging services, productivity strategies, and business referrals, among others./ (CGC)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 06, 2012.