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The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) approved more than P22 million in loans to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) under a facility that seeks to help them start their own businesses, according to a report by Philippine Star.
In a Viber message to reporters, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the DTI has approved P22.485 million worth of loans for over 400 borrowers under the Helping the Economy Recover through OFW Enterprise Start-ups (HEROES) program.
Launched in July last year, the program is being administered by the DTI’s financing arm Small Business Corp.
A total of P100 million is available under the HEROES program.
Through the program, repatriated or returning OFWs who want to start a business may borrow up to P100,000, without interest and collateral.
A six percent service fee is charged to loans with a payment term of 24 months, and eight percent for loans with a payment term of 36 months, inclusive of a 12-month grace period.
OFWs applying for loans under the program need to complete a free three-day online training with the Philippine Trade Training Center.
Once the training is completed, the OFW should submit a video presentation of the business plan, the accomplished loan application form, government-issued identification, proof of repatriation, certificate of completion of training, and business registration with the DTI.
During the Trabaho Negosyo Kabuhayan job fair launch, Lopez said the DTI and Department of Labor and Employment are pushing for a bigger amount of loan to be made available through the SB Corp. for those who already have training and a business plan.
“When there is training in business and a business plan, there is a basis to lend a bigger amount needed for the business,” he said.