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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

Bill taps OFWs to fund gov't projects
29 October 2017 05:37:18 PM

Rep. Jesulito Manalo (Party-list, ANGKLA) has found a way how overseas Filipino workers can safely invest their savings while helping the government.

Manalo, chairman of the committee on overseas workers affairs, said House Bill 6519 or the “OFW Sovereign Fund Act” that he authored tasks the Bureau of Treasury to create the special fund where all investments by OFWs, their immediate family members, and other Filipino citizens overseas shall be initially lodged. The pooled money will then be utilized by the government to fund its select key projects.

The earnings of the OFWs, former OFWs and other investors from the bonds or debt or investment instruments that the government shall issue in exchange for their cash investment shall be exempted from any and all kinds of taxes.

The projects include the purchase or the establishment by the government of strong cash-generating private or government corporations involved in the downstream petroleum industry, electric power generation, transmission and distribution industry, information and communications technology industry, and other strong cash-generating enterprises that shall wean away the government from heavy reliance on taxes and fees as main source of funding.

House Bill 6519, now being fine-tuned by a technical working group (TWG) of the committee on overseas workers affairs, provides that no amount from the OFW Sovereign Fund shall be released for covering maintenance and other operating expenses or any capital outlay inconsistent with the provisions of the Act.

The measure also tasks the BOT to help notify and educate all OFWs about the program, the creation and purpose of the OFW Sovereign Fund and how the investment in the fund will be mutually beneficial to the OFWs and the government.

The implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Act shall ensure that the bonds or other debt or investment instruments that shall be issued by the government in the implementation of this Act shall be denominated in Philippine peso and likewise in small denominations such as, but not limited to, P5,000.

The Treasurer of the Philippines, in consultation with other concerned government agencies including the House Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs and the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development, shall formulate the IRR upon enactment of the bill into law. / MVIP