Bill Protecting OFW Remittances

House committee members successfully cleared a bill designed to protect OFW remittances through committee approval.

On Tuesday, the House Ways and Means Committee passed House Bills 185, 1190, 2944, 3020, 4170, 4257, 4343, 4397 & 4469 or the proposed OFW Remittance Protection Act as substitutes.

The bill provides for a 50 percent reduction on OFW remittance fees charged by banks and non-bank financial intermediaries.

Banks and other financial intermediaries will then receive tax deductions equivalent to the discounts given to OFWs.

Rep. Ron Salo of Kabayan Party-list noted in his original proposal a provision capping annual tax deductions to OFWs at PHP24,000 per financial intermediary.

Salo pointed out that a House committee approved a motion to lift any caps placed on OFW remittances to encourage OFWs to send their funds home more frequently.

“It is essential that we reduce the costs borne by OFW remittances, which account for an astounding USD36.1 billion (8.9 percent of gross domestic product),” Salo stated.

This proposed law would also prevent financial institutions from raising remittance fees without first consulting with the Department of Finance, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas or the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.

Salo stated this provision protects OFWs against unexpected fee increases.

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