Returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families can now avail of livelihood loan assistance amounting to 100 thousand pesos and up to 2 million pesos.
This was announced by Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III following the signing of memorandum of agreement on the implementation of the OFW-Enterprise Development and Loan Program (OFW-EDLP) between the Department of Labor and Employment–Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on 6 September.
“This joint undertaking addresses one of the eight-point labor and employment agenda of the Department of Labor and Employment, which is to bring more focus and accessibility on workers’ protection and welfare program, specifically the OFWs,” Bello said.
The OFW-EDLP, which is implemented in partnership with Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines, aims to help OFWs and their families to pursue entrepreneurial undertakings. The loanable amount for qualified individual borrowers is from Php 100,000.00 up to a maximum of Php 2 million. For group borrowers, they can borrow up to a maximum of Php 5 million.
The qualified borrowers of the loan program are certified OWWA members, active and non-active, and currently employed overseas or have returned to the Philippines within the last three years, except on cases where the applicant has an on-going business prior to the time of application, and have completed the Enhanced Entrepreneurial Development Training (EEDT). Partnerships, corporations, and cooperatives whose members are OFWs who have been certified as OWWA members, are also qualified to avail said loan program.
The loanable amount carries a fixed interest rate of 7.5 percent per annum for the duration of the loan. It can be used either as working capital or for acquisition of fixed assets needed for business operations. However, the program requires that the proposed project should have a ready market and should generate a monthly income of at least P10,000.
Borrowers can choose a short-term loan, which can be paid within a year, or a long-term loan which is payable based on the cash flow but not to exceed seven years, inclusive of the maximum two-year grace period on the capital.
Through DTI’s assistance, OFWs will have access to training and technical support in starting an enterprise, as well as opportunities to attend special events, such as conferences, exhibitions, symposia, caravans, and other promotional activities initiated by DTI and the private sector.
Applicants interested to avail of the OFW enterprise development and loan program must secure the required documents to ensure smooth processing of their loan application. These include an OWWA certification stating that the borrower is a bona fide overseas worker; duly filled-out EDLP application form (including statement of assets and liabilities); business plan (including financial projections, source of equity, list of suppliers/markets or buyers and contact numbers); barangay certification as to residency in a given address; sketch of place of residence; and Special Power of Attorney (SPA), if applicable. For those working abroad, the SPA must be duly authenticated by the consul.
If the applicants have an existing business, they must submit their income tax return for the past three years, audited financial statements for the past three years and latest interim financial statements.