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MANILA, May 6 – Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) will soon have a bank that will particularly cater to their remittance and other banking needs.
According to Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III, the OFW Bank is expected to 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 PHP3 billion and subscribed capital of PHP2 billion, the OFW Bank will open PHP1 billion of its capital to OFWs for subscription and to become part owners.
The creation of the bank is part of government efforts to enhance services and programs for the benefit of Filipinos working abroad. It also includes the development and issuance of the OFW Identification Card, which will allow easy transactions with government and private agencies.
“Using the OFW ID, they can easily access their government records electronically, without the need to go to concerned government offices,” he said.
The ID card can also be used as a debit card and an ATM card for OFW banks, as well as a Beep card for the LRT and MRT.
Meanwhile, Bello announced that the labor department and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) will extend micro-financing loans worth PHP50,000 to PHP300,000 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 added.