BONTOC, Mountain Province – The Provincial Government continues to assist individuals who want to work abroad but lack the financial means to pay their placement fees.
According to Laire B. Ligligen of the Office of the Governor, a total of 185 overseas workers from Mountain Province benefited from the Provincial Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) Loan Assistance Program since its inception in 2011.
Out of the total number, 80 work in Hongkong; 22 in Taiwan; 17 in Saudi Arabia; 10 in Cyprus; seven in Dubai; six in Malaysia; five in Canada; four each in Kuwait, Israel and Libya; three each in Korea, Singapore and New Zealand; two each in Russia, Poland, Japan and Florida, USA and one each in Hawai, Europe and Germany. The beneficiaries either work as domestic helpers, factory workers, or nurses.
Ligligen said that the Provincial Government is very willing to lend money with a very minimal interest of five percent per annum payable in 12 monthly instalments starting a month after the overseas worker’ arrival at the country destination. A three percent service fee is also deducted immediately from the loaned amount.
She explained that the provincial government has allocated four million pesos for the implementation of the program which was loaned out to the first batch of beneficiaries. The payment of the borrowers was rolled out to other beneficiaries. To date, the available loanable amount is P2.44 million.
Ligligen added that the amount to be loaned by an applicant is dependent on the placement fee set by the placement agency and the country destination. Thus, the amount can range from P60, 000 to P100, 000.00
She further explained that the program caters to those residing in Mountain Province who are seeking employment abroad or already have a valid work contract and visa for country destination.
To ensure the effective implementation of the program, applicants must have at least two qualified co-makers who are permanent employees of the Provincial Government of Mountain Province. They will enter into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the provincial government represented by the governor.
Under the MOA, the co-makers as the guarantors of the borrower for the payment of the loan agree that the obligation shall be deducted from their monthly salary for a period of 12 months or until the loan shall have been fully paid if the borrower fails to pay his/ her obligation.
The program was initiated by Governor Leonard G. Mayaen when he assumed office in 2011 believing that the program would ease the financial burden of the OFWs from the province when they work abroad because of the very minimal loan interest instead of availing loan to agencies with a very high interest.