THE Overseas Workers and Welfare Administration (OWWA) on Wednesday released P632.531 million to cover loan applications of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
OWWA administrator Carmelita Dimzon, in her report to the
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), said 854 loan applications were approved at the end of December 2013, based on the implementation of the P2-billion National Reintegration Program together with the Land Bank of the Philippines.
Dimzon said that the program has attracted to close 4,000 jobs all over the Philippines.
OWWA record showed that 59 percent of the borrowers had used their loans to fund small and medium businesses in the non-agriculture sector, while 41 percent spent the money for agriculture-based or related enterprise.
The record further showed that Region 3 has the most number of borrowers followed by Region 4-A.
The P2-billion National Reintegration Program is a facility of the DOLE, which lends between P200,000 to P2 million to any OFWs who wanted to establish a business in the country. It has an interest of only 7.5 percent a year and payable in five years with a grace period of two years.
Meanwhile, DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz was elated by the positive report of the OWWA, directing the Project Management Committee of the program to “strengthen further” its implementation to encourage more OFWs to put up their business and eventually help generate income.
“I am happy to note that agri-based enterprises are fast catching up with non-agri-businesses that our OFWs are venturing into using the money from the P2-billion National Reintegration Fund,” Baldoz said.
Baldoz hopes that the committee heads of the said project will cut down and simplify the requirement to easily avail the said loan.
“I expect that this year, the committee can already report to me the quality and sustainability of the businesses that the loan program creates,” she noted.