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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Gov't readies loans for OFWs with typhoon-damaged PUVs

A special financing facility has been activated for overseas Filipino
workers (OFWs) whose hard-earned public utility vehicles or "PUVs" --- used
productively for the livelihood of their families back home ---have been
severely damaged due to the recent calamities that hit the Philippines.

Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque indicated that the
facility has been made possible by no less than President Gloria Macapagal
Arroyo, with the Philippine Postal Savings Bank (PPSB) offering the
assistance, in linkage with the DOLE's National Reintegration Center for
OFWs (NRCO), and OFW Family Circle cooperatives.

The Labor and Employment Chief said that under the PPSB facility, the
affected OFW families may avail of a P50,000 interest-free loan with a term
of one year for the rehabilitation of vehicle damaged by the recent
typhoons. In addition, the bank also made available a P5,000 microfinance
loan, also interest free, with a grace period of three months and payable
for one year, for the livelihood of OFWs' immediate family members.

Roque said that the President had earlier directed the PPSB, chaired by
former Zambales Governor Vicente Magsaysay, to prepare a special financing
facility to enable the transport operators/drivers in the calamity-affected
areas of the country avail of financing for the rehabilitation of their
damaged PUVs. Based on her instruction, the fund for the financing facility
shall be sourced from the P500-million fund previously released to the PPSB
under the PGMA Micro-finance Program for the Spouses and Immediate Family
Members of Drivers and Conductors of Public Utility Vehicles.

Roque noted that the P500-million special finance facility has already begun
assisting local transport operators and drivers rehabilitate their vehicles.

"As the government is aware that a significant portion of our modern day
heroes have invested their hard-earned earnings and remittances in the local
transport business to augment their loved ones' livelihoods, the facility
has been extended by the President for their benefit, and we are thus
encouraging OFWs whose PUVs have been damaged by Typhoon Pepeng and Ondoy,
to avail of the assistance facility as necessary."

Deputy Administrator Teresita R. Manzala of the DOLE's Overseas Workers
Welfare Administration, who heads the NRCO, indicated that the extension of
the PPSB's special transport sector financing facility has been endorsed by
the 130-organization strong Overseas Filipino Workers' Multi-Purpose
Cooperative, headed by Rogelio E. San Andres who is a recipient of the OWWA's
Most Outstanding OFW Family of the Year Award (MOFYA), and Mr. Orlando F.
Marquez, Sr., who is the national president of the Liga ng Transportasyon at
Operators sa Pilipinas, Inc., (LTOP), and is a member of the Road Board of
the Office of the President.

Manzala encouraged the affected OFW families who would want to avail of the
PPSB's P50,000 PUV repair assistance, if not P5,000 livelihood loan, to link
up with the bank's various branches in the affected regions. She
emphasized that to avail of a PUV rehabilitation loan, an OFW must be a
member of a transport cooperative, adding that the loan must be filed by the
OFW's spouse.

PPSB Account Management Head Edgar Rico, meanwhile, indicated that the
eligible borrowers are the spouse of PUV operator/driver with a Certificate
of Public Convenience and Franchise Confirmation by the Land Transportation
and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and Transport Cooperatives/Associations with
Certificate of Good Standing issued by the Office of Transportation
Cooperatives (OTC) and the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory
Board (LTFRB) whose member, through the spouse, would want to avail of the
special financing facility.

Inquiries in availing of the PPSB's special financing facility, or
livelihood loan, may be made by the affected OFWs or their immediate family
members with any PPSB branches. Bank branches are located in Liwasang
Bonifacio, Manila (head office), Malolos City in Bulacan, San Pablo City in
Laguna, Mabalacat in Pampanga, Tarlac City, Baguio City, Asingan and Dagupan
City in Pangasinan, Tuguegarao City in Cagayan, and San Fernando City in La

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