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Tuesday, August 7, 2012


A lawmaker today urged Congress to fast track the approval of a bill giving former Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) 20 percent discount on medicine, transportation, hotels and other business establishments.

House Bill 6323, authored by Rep. Ma. Theresa Bonoan-David (4th District, Manila), however, will cover only those OFWs who have reached 50 years of age.

The bill grants 20% discount to all Filipinos who have worked in a foreign country under employment contracts for a period not less than ten years, including but not limited to, professionals, seamen, entertainers, domestic helpers, regardless of their employment status in the foreign country.

"The Overseas Filipino Workers are our modern heroes whose hard earned dollars are responsible for buoying up our economy to levels that have allowed us to achieve growth as a nation, and industrialization along with modernization as a country," Bonoan-David said.

"It is but timely to express our debt of gratitude to our former OFWs in the form of discounts, medical assistance, enjoyment of benefits granted by the respective social service systems and even housing programs," Bonoan-David added. 

The measure defines former OFW as a resident citizen of the Philippines, at least 50 years old, previously certified by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) for overseas employment purposes and has an income of not more than P60,000 per annum subject to review by the National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB) every three years.

The former OFW shall be entitled to 20 percent discount from all establishments relative to utilization of transportation services, hotels and similar lodging establishments, restaurants and recreation centers and for the purchase of medicines.

The bill provides that former OFWs shall receive free medical and dental consultations in private or public hospitals and medical insurance from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC); 

Likewise, they will be given priority in the livelihood and housing programs of the government.

The measure shall establish the Office of Former Overseas Filipino Workers (OFOFW) under the Office of the Mayor and shall be headed by a Councilor designated by the Sangguniang Bayan and assisted by the Community Development Officer in coordination with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

"The OFOFW shall maintain and regularly update on a quarterly basis the list of former OFWs; shall serve as a general information and liaison center that will facilitate the needs of former OFWs and shall issue uniform individual identification cards which shall be valid anywhere in the country," Bonoan-David said. 

source:  House of Representatives Philippines

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