Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bad news for departing Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs)

As if the recent changes were not enough to give sleepless nights to the millions of Overseas Filipino Workers across the world, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has now come up with a decision that is going to compound the problems. Acting Labor Secretary Marianito Roque said that the OWWA would no longer give loans to departing OFWs. He said that the decision was taken after he found that most of the OFWs who availed the loan facility did not pay back which cost the organisation nearly P70 million. He further said that only 30 per cent of the people actually paid back. Additionally the low payment rate was also a problem, he said.
According to Roque, many OFWs declined to make the payments saying they could no longer pay their P40,000 loans. This expectedly brought severe financial losses which the organisation is no longer in a mood to bear. The OFWs also supposedly said that since they were paying $25 membership fee per employment contract, they claimed that the OWWA fund money is their money and so they don’t have to pay their loans. On an average, nearly 2,000 to 3,000 OFWs leave their country for foreign lands daily, which means OWWA collects around $75,000 or over P3 million membership fee daily.

The OFWs who are already facing financial woes at the moment are crying foul because with each passing day it is becoming more difficult for them.

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