OVERSEAS Filipino workers (OFWs) will soon have their own bank that will provide remittance and regular banking services.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd said the “OFW Bank” would be operational in September.
“The creation of the OFW Bank is one of our initiatives to benefit our migrant workers. This bank is dedicated to the needs of our OFWs and will be partly owned by them,” Bello said in a statement.
With an authorized capital of P3 billion and subscribed capital of P2 billion, the OFW Bank will open P1 billion of its capital to OFWs for subscription and to become part owners.
The establishment of the bank is part of government efforts to improve services and programs for the benefit of overseas Filipinos, who send some $25 billion in remittances annually, Bello said.
The government also plans to issue the OFW Identification Card, which will speed up transactions with government and private agencies, he said.
“Using the OFW ID, they can easily access their government records electronically, without the need to go to concerned government offices,” he said.
The card can also be used as a debit card and an automated teller machine card, as well as a “Beep” card for the Light Rail and Metro Rail transit lines.
Bello also announced that the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) would extend microfinance loans worth P50,000 to P300,000 to repatriated OFWs, to help them re-establish sustainable living for their families.
“As one of the directives of President Duterte, DoLE, together with OWWA, shall ensure the reintegration of our repatriated OFWs by helping them and their families through various livelihood opportunities and other income-generating means,” he said.