CITY OF BACOOR, Cavity: Cavite Second District Representative Lani Mercado-Revilla lobbied for the creation of a credit assistance program for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) through House Bill (HB) 3378.
The bill aims to protect new hires in particular from indebtedness and loan sharks before they leave the country in search of a better life.
The usual fate of an OFW is to resort to borrowing or a payroll deduction system due to the high cost of recruiting and placement fees. The reality is that many are vulnerable to illegal recruitment, contract and visa deception.
“It’s high time our government stepped in and eased the financial burden on our modern-day heroes and helped their families,” Mercado-Revilla said.
Mercado-Revilla said despite the clear economic benefits the government derives from remittances, migrant workers and their families are often financially challenged. In 2020, total remittances sent by OFWs reached $29.9 billion. In 2021, OFW remittances reached a record high of $31.4 billion, which accounted for 8.9% of the country’s gross domestic product.
“Our migrant workers are already enduring a lot of sacrifice just to be able to provide a comfortable life for their loved ones while helping to strengthen the economy. Let’s strengthen our support for them by endorsing this measure,” Mercado-Revilla added.
With a valid contract, an OFW can qualify for a loan of up to P50,000 from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to cover the living expenses of the OFW family during the few months of their absence, as well as other expenses. engaged in processing OFW employment. The loan will be repaid in twelve equal monthly installments or more, but not exceeding twenty-four months at a prime interest rate not exceeding 6%.
By virtue of this arrangement, the OWWA can monitor and check the status of the status of the OFW.
HB 3378 is also co-authored by the sons of Mercado-Revilla, Cavite First District Representative Ramon “Jolo” Revilla 3rd and Agimat Party List Representative Bryan Revilla.