July 23, 2022

Four-term Senator Loren Legarda pushes for the protection of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) remittance by filing Senate Bill 10.

“The money remitted by OFWs to their beneficiaries in the Philippines goes through intermediaries or financial institutions. In the course of transfer, the amount supposedly remitted are subject to various fees and usurious charges, thereby depleting the amount to be received by the beneficiaries,” the Senator explained.

According to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), personal remittances in 2021 constituted 8.9% of the country’s gross domestic product and 8.5% of its gross national income. In the same year, the World Bank reported that the Philippines is the 4th largest remittance destination in the world.

“It is imperative for the government to protect the money transfers from several fees and incredulous interest rates imposed by financial institutions,” Legarda said.

The bill proposes to set a limit on the amount of remittance fees and charges to be enforced by intermediaries, provide up to fifty percent (50%) discount to OFWs sending money to their immediate family members and grant tax deductions to the intermediaries that provide discounts on remittance fees.

The proposed measure also mandates concerned government agencies to conduct financial education programs for OFWs and their families.

Legarda, as then Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, sponsored the Senate’s concurrence in the ratification of several international agreements, which include the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 189, the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), and the Convention on Social Security between the Philippines and Spain, all of which strengthen the protection for land-based and sea-based OFWs. [END]