RP banks vow special remittance system for OFWs

August 31, 2007
Updated 19:48:26 (Mla time)
Veronica Uy

MANILA, Philippines -- Nine of the country’s largest banks have committed to develop a “special and more affordable remittance system for overseas Filipino workers [OFWs]” in support of the labor department’s reintegration program, Labor Secretary Arturo Brion said in a statement Friday.

The banks, which were represented during a stakeholders’ workshop at the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) recently, are the Development Bank of the Philippines, Land Bank of the Philippines, Philippine National Bank, Metro Bank, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, United Coconut Planters Bank, Asia United Bank, and Banco de Oro.

The labor chief said the banks specifically committed, among others, “to develop and offer an easier, faster, and affordable special remittance and financing schemes for OFWs to motivate them to transfer funds to the country using formal channels, particularly in the area of savings, loans, and investments.”

Brion said the banks also promised to promote savings consciousness and sound investments among OFWs.

The reintegration program, which starts before the OFWs leave for work abroad, while they’re abroad, and when they come home, seeks to help workers and their families mobilize their earnings in productive and income-generating projects.

“This is to stop the rags-to-riches-to rags phenomena among our OFWs,” he said, referring to the situation returning migrant Filipino workers usually find themselves in.

Brion said that savings mobilization aspect of the program shall have banks conduct seminars on financial literacy, financial planning, wealth management, and investments among would-be OFWs, OFWs, and their families.