Legarda bats for protection of OFW remittances; files bill

August 18, 2022

Four-term Senator Loren Legarda is pushing for the protection of Overseas Filipino Workers’ (OFW) money remittances.

“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,” Legarda said in filing Senate Bill (SB) 10.

Legarda cited data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) that personal remittances in 2021 constituted 8.9 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and 8.5 percent of its gross national income.

In the same year, the World Bank reported that the Philippines was the fourth 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 50 percent discount to OFWs sending money to their immediate family members and grant tax deductions to the intermediaries that provide discounts on remittance fees.

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

Legarda, as then chairwoman 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.

Source: Manila Bulletin

Legarda bats for protection of OFW remittances; files bill