The Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) has recently set up a credit facility to finance the business plans of overseas-based Filipino workers and their families.
Called the “OFW Reintegration Program,” the new lending program seeks to pursue the national government’s plan of providing income and investment opportunities to overseas-based Filipino, with the medium to long term goal of encouraging them to go back for good to the Philippines and their families.
Those who can avail themselves of the program are OFWs registered with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) with ongoing or finished employment contractors.
These workers may apply for a loan equivalent to 90 per cent of the cost of a business venture and must range from P300 thousand to P2 million. The loan will be charged an interest rate of 7.5 per cent a year payable over seven years.
Loans may be used for construction, renovation, expansion or repair of building for use as a business site; working capital for a business venture; acquiring equipment; and other business related facilities.
Priority will be given to projects in the following industries: franchising, tourism and related industries, health care and allied industries, and agribusiness and related businesses.
“The DBP hopes that through the OFW Reinegration Program, we shall be able to help nurture in our overseas Filipino workers and their families a culture of savings, investment and entrepreneurship, along with the values of honesty, discipline and hard work necessary for poverty reduction and economic empowerment of our communities,” DBP president Francisco del Rosario, Jr. said in a statement.
(Adapted from Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 29, 2011, page B-3)