While the Global Financial Crisis hits the world head-on, majority of the people who are so affected with this catastrophe are Filipino OFW’s and their families. In a tragic turn of events, Filipino Overseas contract workers started coming home be

cause employers abroad were trying to even out the crisis and attempting to cope up with its demands.

To help with this predicament that befell our overseas heroes, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo through the initiative of the Overseas Workers Welfare Organization (OWWA) provides an assistance package called the Filipino Expatriate Livelihood Support Fund (FELSF) designed to focus on the safety and welfare of the overseas workers community affected by this catastrophe.
<img src=”http://www.owwa.gov.ph/ezimagecatalogue/catalogue/php75rS30.png” alt=”” />
<strong>What is OWWA?</strong>
The <a href=”http://www.owwa.gov.ph/”>Overseas Workers Welfare Administration</a> (OWWA) is an agency assigned to protect and uphold the rights and interests of the Philippines Overseas Workers.

<strong>Its objectives are</strong>:
• Protect the interest and promote the welfare of OFWs <!–more–>in recognition of their valuable contribution to the overall development effort;

• Facilitate the implementation of the provisions of the Labor Code concerning the responsibility of the government to promote the well-being of OFWs;

• Provide social and welfare services to OFWs, including insurance, social work assistance, legal assistance, cultural services, and remittance services;

• Ensure the efficiency of collection and the viability and sustainability of the fund through sound and judicious investment and fund management policies;

• Undertake studies and researches for the enhancement of their social, economic and cultural well-being; and

• Develop, support and finance specific projects for the welfare of OFWs.

Funding for <a href=”http://www.owwa.gov.ph/”>OWWA projects</a> and movements come from and are pooled from the US$25.00 membership contributions of foreign employers, land-based and sea-based workers, investment and interest income, and income from other sources.

<strong>The Filipino Expatriate Livelihood Support Fund (FELSF) </strong>
Since the Arroyo administration has specified main concern to the dislocated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration has conceptualized the Filipino Expatriate Livelihood Support Fund (FELSF) as a principal safety precaution to help and safeguard the welfare of the OFW’s from the Global Financial Crisis.

If an OFW has received assistance before in some of their initial loan offers, an OFW may be entitled to avail of the Filipino Expatriate Livelihood Support Fund (FELSF) as a supplementary loan if they are indeed displaced and are affected with the Global Financial Crisis. The OFWs can loan up to fifty thousand pesos (Php50,000.00) with a super low interest rate of 5% per annum. According to the OWWA website, “Government banks can also extend loans through their collateral windows if worker decides to expand his business enterprise”.

<strong>Goals and Aims of the Filipino Expatriate Livelihood Support Fund (FELSF)</strong>
The Filipino Expatriate Livelihood Support Fund (FELSF) is aimed at one thing – to be a safety Net for OFW’s who were displaced by the wave of the Global Financial crisis. According to OWWA, the program may be availed of in two phases.

The first phase involves putting some displaced OFWs to experience commerce counseling and proficiency guidance within the Livelihood Package of Assistance and Services for Displaced Overseas Filipino Workers of the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole). Upon completing the First Phase of the Filipino Expatriate Livelihood Support Fund application assessment, OWWA shall present credit aid and amenities for entrepreneurial actions under the next phase.

The 2nd phase offers a Non-collateral Loan oportunity wherein the displaced OFWs can borrow up to P50,000 with an interest rate of five percent per year payable in 2 years with a grace period of 90 days for ease of payment. Overall, <a href=”http://www.owwa.gov.ph/”>OWWA</a> and the Arroyo administration aim to transform the displaced OFW’s and turn them into profit-generating and functional elements of the Philippines Economic stature.\

Related links:
<li><a title=”FELSF” href=”http://www.owwa.gov.ph/article/articleview/265/1/8″> FELSF loan availments surpass P73M for 1,473 borrowers</a></li>
For inquiries:
<p style=”padding-left: 30px;”><strong>Overseas Workers Welfare Administration
</strong>7th St. cor. F.B. Harrison
Pasay City, Philippines
Tel.(+632) 891-7601 to 24</p>
<strong>For Inquiries &amp; Feedbacks</strong>
<strong>Email:</strong> <a href=”mailto:opcenter@owwa.gov.ph”>opcenter@owwa.gov.ph</a> / <a title=”owwa_opcenter@yahoo.com” href=”mailto:owwa_opcenter@yahoo.com”>owwa_opcenter@yahoo.com</a>

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