Owwa's OFW loan program to be revisited

THE Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Reintegration Loan Program of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa) will be up for revisiting and revision to encourage more returning OFWs to avail of the loan program, an official said.

During the consultation program conducted by Owwa, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) last Thursday, April 20, Owwa Davao Regional Director Eduardo Bellido said the P2-billion OFW Reintegration Loan Program of Owwa is currently losing from the regular loan program of the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP).

“We actually have many proponents of loan. But if you compare under our agreement with Land Bank, under the reintegration program, the interest is 7.5 percent with so many needed documents. In the regular loan program (of Land Bank), there are less requirements and the interest is 4 percent. Most of our proponents, we lose to the regular loan program of Land Bank. It’s worth revisiting,” said Bellido.

The OFW Reintegration Loan Program was initiated by Owwa in partnership with LBP and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) with the purpose of supporting enterprise development among OFWs and their families. The project will support business projects that are possible to generate a net monthly income at least equal to the poverty threshold set by the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda). Loan applicants can borrow a minimum of P300,000 and a maximum of P2 million.

According to Bellido, instead of availing of the loan program tailored-fit for them, the OFWs opt to apply for the regular loan program of LBP instead due to the lower interest rate and the convenience because of less documents needed.

Bellido said one of the ways to increase availment is for the program to be revised and to be made more attractive to the prospect OFW loan proponents.