Palace lauds OFWs for P23-B record remittance in 2013

MANILA, March 18 (PNA) — Malacanang on Tuesday lauded Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWS) for the 7.4 percent increase in remittances from last year saying that they were important in boosting the country’s economy.

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a Palace media briefing that the total remittances for 2013 reached P23-billion compared to P21.4-billion in 2012.

“We salute and thank our overseas Filipino workers for the nearly seven percent increase in remittances made in January 2014 compared to the same period last year,” Coloma said.

“Total remittances for 2013 reached almost P23-billion for a 7.4-percent increase compared to P21.4-billion in 2012,” he added.

Coloma further noted that remittances helped bolster the country’s foreign currency reserves, boosting consumer spending, and supporting overall economic growth.

He added that through the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA), the “government continues to promote programs that will create and increase employment opportunities for Filipino professionals and skilled workers.”

The programs, Coloma said, work in tandem with similar programs in country to create manufacturing-based and more highly remunerative jobs.

Furthermore, Coloma explained that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for its part implements the P2-billion peso national reintegration program administered by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

He said that this has already created 4,000 jobs for returning OFWs since the inception of this program.

“Through Land Bank of the Philippines, this program has granted and released total loans amounting to P632.5-million,” Coloma said.

“Most of which were used to fund businesses on general merchandising, groceries, water purifying stations, auto supply, hardware, trucking, and ready-to-wear, as well as agriculture-based enterprises such as grains trading, piggery, poultry, agriculture supplies, post-harvest, bakery, fruits and vegetables farming, copra trading, and fisheries,” he added.

Coloma, affirmed with President Benigno Aquino III’s vision of “a government that creates jobs at home, so that working abroad will be a choice rather than a necessity.”

“When its citizens do choose to become overseas Filipino workers, their welfare and protection will still be the government’s priority,” he said. (PNA)