Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III yesterday said the government is set to provide enhanced services and programs for the benefit and ease the lives of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) this year.

Bello said the OFW Bank, which will cater to the remittance and other banking needs of Filipino migrant workers all over the world, will be operational in September 2017.

“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,” he said.

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 labor secretary also said that the development and issuance of the OFW Identification Card (OFW I.D), which will allow easy transactions with government and private agencies, is already underway.

“Using the OFW I.D, they can easily access their government records electronically, without the need to go to concerned government offices,” he said.

The ID card can also serve as a debit card and an ATM card for OFW banks as well as a Beep card for the LRT and MRT.

Meanwhile, Bello also said that the labor department and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) will extend its micro-financing loans amounting to P50,000 to P300,000 to the repatriated OFWs to provide them capital to get back on track and 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 added.

 

END/ Abegail De Vega

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