Government clarifies rules on OFW business loans

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

MANILA -- Only overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who are members of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa) are qualified to apply for an enterprise loan under the P2-billion OFW-Reintegration Program (OFW-RP), the government said Wednesday.

National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) Director Vivian Tornea issued the statement following queries from non-Owwa members who expressed interest of availing business loans under the said program.

The queries included those from Filipino working students abroad.

Specifically, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said only OFWs who have contributed $25.00 to Owwa and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office upon processing of their employment contract are entitled to the loan.

The OFW-RP is jointly being implemented by the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole), Owwa, NRCO, Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).

OFWs who are members of Owwa who want to avail of business loans under the OFW-RP are required to complete entrepreneurial development training (EDT), conducted every Thursday at the NRCO, Owwa Building, Intramuros, Manila.

Tornea said the training orients participants on various business opportunities, and on the basics of starting a business and preparing a business plan.

It also assesses the participants’ capability to manage any business enterprise to help them find out and address their weaknesses before implementing their business plan.

She added that interested OFWs are required to submit business plans to the Land Bank and the DBP, which will evaluate the viability of the business enterprise they want to set up.

The other requirements OFWs should submit to partner banks in applying for the reintegration loan assistance are the following: an Owwa certification that the borrower is a bona fide Owwa member, has completed the training, and has good credit history; and biodata. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

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