6,295 guests

Gov’t eyes opening bank for OFWs

THE government is planning to establish a bank that would exclusively cater to overseas Filipino workers, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said yesterday.

Bello said the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration has pooled almost P20 billion from the contribution of OFWs.
   
The Labor secretary told OFWs in Hong Kong that the government is planning to use the money to buy a bank and name it OFW Bank.
   
He also met with labor officials in Hong Kong about the suggestion to add a clause in OFWs’ contracts, saying the cleaning of windows in high-rise buildings is not covered by the service agreement.
   
A 35-year-old Filipina domestic helper fell to her death in August while cleaning the outside of the windows of her employer’s apartment.
   
Domestic helpers in Hong Kong marched in protest on Sept. 4 after several maids fell to their death from tower block windows as they tried to clean them.
   
The Hong Kong government has no commitment yet regarding this matter.
   
Bello also visited Filipinos in temporary shelters seeking refuge from employer abuse.
   
He assured OFWs planning to return to the Philippines that the government will assist them so they can start a business.