CEBU CITY—Recognizing the contribution of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to the country’s economy, including the retail sector, a shopping mall operator has come up with a program designed to help them attain financial stability.

SM Prime Holdings has brought its relationship with OFWs to a higher level with the establishment of the Global Pinoy Center (GPC) branches in some of its shopping malls.

“The Global Pinoy Center is our humble tribute to the Global Pinoys who have made great personal sacrifices abroad, to give their children here, the best education they can have, a chance for their families to own their homes, the hope for a better life, and a secure future,” explains Annie Garcia, president of the Shopping Center Management Corp. (SM Supermalls).

Garcia was in Cebu on Wednesday to attend the launching of the 9th GPC in SM City Cebu, the first one located here.

“The deployment of Filipino overseas has helped our country tremendously because their remittances have helped stabilize and propel the economy forward,” Garcia says.

She says the OFW remittances had reached $16 billion and this year, it was projected to breach $17 billion, which would be equivalent to the 14 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

The GPC offers free financial consultation with Banco de Oro, the bank owned by the Sy family (owners of SM), as well as free entrepreneurial and livelihood training sessions to be undertaken by the Department of Trade and Industry and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

The training would enable the OFW and his dependents to be financially independent, allowing them to grow their hard-earned money in wise investments, Garcia says.

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via By Irene R. Sino-Cruz, Philippine Daily Inquirer

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