More OFWs to come home, start businesses, borrow capital

The economic slump being experienced in many labor markets abroad will compel more overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to come home, engage in a small business, and borrow capital to finance their ventures.

This is the forecast of the Land Bank of the Philippines which has an OFW Reintegration program that aims to support entrepreneurial ventures of Filipinos coming home after working abroad.

Outstanding loans extended by the Bank to  OFW-entrepreneurs amounted to P 272.8 million as of July, 2012, benefitting 425 borrowers setting up rice trading, hog raising, poultry, and general merchandise, estimated to have  created 1,648 jobs.

Land Bank expects a rise in demand of these loans as more OFWs return to find their place in the Philippine economic setting.

“We are optimistic that by becoming entrepreneurs, they will not only ensure their socio-economic stability but also help boost the country’s economy,” Land Bank President Gilda Pico said in a statement.

The Land Bank OFW Reintegration loan program provides short and long-term loans from P300 thousand to P2 million for working capital and fixed asset acquisition needs of borrowers.

The 2-billion reintegration program loan fund is a joint venture among Land Bank,  DOLE, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).

It was explained earlier by Executive Director Vivian Tornea of the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO), in answer to inquiries by some OFWS, that they may avail of loan assistance under the program without collateral as long as the business they want to put up or improve is shown to be viable and profitable.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) today explained that overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who are interested to start or expand an existing business enterprise may avail of loan assistance under the P2-billion reintegration program without collateral as long as the business they want to put or expand remains viable and profitable.

Photo: from Macky Ramirez file