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House Approves Bill Allowing Credit Assistance for OFWs

Ngiting Tatak Pinoy ni Dodeth Vergara

An OFW could soon apply for credit assistance of up to P50,000 to leave his family with ample money to live comfortably, especially during the first few months after the worker flies to the country he will be working in – thanks to the proposed Overseas Workers Credit Assistance Act [House Bill 4985].

House Majority Leader and Mandaluyong City Representative Neptali Gonzales Jr., OFW party-list Representative Juan Johnny Revilla, Nueva Ecija Representative Joseph Gilbert F. Violago and Tarlac Representative Susan Yap are the main proponents of this house bill.

Ngiting Tatak Pinoy ni Dodeth Vergara
Ngiting Tatak Pinoy ni Dodeth Vergara : 2010 PEBA Photo Contest Entry

Very Useful Credit Assistance

Even before an OFW leaves the country, he will surely incur a lot of expenses – whether in plane tickets, placement fees, documentation costs, and other charges [airport terminal fees???] that might be needed before he is finally allowed to go.

Also, the family he leaves behind surely needs money for their living expenses, especially if the OFW is the sole breadwinner. Moreover, the OFW could not immediately send back money within days of working abroad, so the family is often forced to take credit from loan sharks who put high interest rates on their short-term loans.

To help solve this problem, the bill’s proponents passed the proposal to grant the OFWs with a loan of up to P50,000. It is up to OFW to use this money, whether to pay for placement fees incurred, plane tickets, or to leave to his family.


The full requirements have not yet been released, but OFWs are expected to present “valid employment contracts processed through licensed recruitment and manning agencies accredited by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA)”, reports GMA News.

The next-of-kin who would be the recipient of the loan also needs to sign as co-borrower.

Payment Terms

It comes as great news that this loan only has a 6% interest rate per annum (year), so it will not be too hard on the OFW’s pocket. Moreover, payment terms are easy. They are allowed to repay the loan for up to 12 months, on installment.

It is the responsibility of the OFW to repay the loan through the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) via accredited banks.

The bill also indicated that within 12 months after this credit assistance bill is implemented, online payments should already be made available so that OFWs can easily repay the loans using online banking and payment facilities.


The OFW is expected to repay the loan diligently or risk grave sanctions. Failure to repay the loan can be grounds for the POEA and all its offices to withhold the issuance exit permit, clearance to work abroad, or Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC).

Private agencies who fail to repay the loans for the OFWs will be suspended for 60 days on the first offense. If the agency violates the program again, then the POEA has the right to cancel its license or accreditation.

Government officials/employees who violate the provisions of this bill will also face a 60-day suspension for the first offense. If that particular employee/official violates the provisions a second time, he will be dismissed from service and banned from working or holding public office for up to 5 years.


Netizen Exposes Gas Station Scam, Warns Car Owners to Stay Vigilant




With gas prices rising everywhere, a lot of people are trying to find ways to save money on fuel. Many resort to buying from lesser known companies because these offer cheaper prices than the big time brands.

Sometimes, however, this might mean you are actually getting less fuel for your money because some unscrupulous gas attendants have mastered some clever ways to scam their unsuspecting customers. But the same could happen even in ‘branded’ gas stations.

A netizen who goes by the name Jahaziel Selosa Falla on Facebook shared one of these scams which he was able to uncover himself while getting gas for his vehicle.

According to Jahaziel, he bought gasoline for his vehicle at a gas station in Angono, Rizal when he noticed that the gas attendant did not return the nozzle properly. He took a photo of the nozzle to warn other motorists, particularly car owners of this type of scam.

Jahaziel insisted that he knows the proper way that a nozzle should be returned because he also works in a petroleum company.

Photo credit: Jahaziel Selosa Falla / Facebook

According to him, this is the way that the gas boys can cheat their customers because the number on the machine won’t return to zero; thus, the next customer who buys gas from this pump might see the amount he’s supposed to pay on the machine but didn’t know that he was getting less than what he had paid for.

This scam often targets car owners.

For example, someone (usually a motorbike rider) buys gas for Php100. Because the gas attendant didn’t place the nozzle properly, the reading does not return to Php0. When a car owner buys gas for, say, Php1,000 and was distracted that he didn’t check that the pump reading didn’t start at 00, then this means that he paid Php1,000 but actually just got Php900 worth of gas!

That’s really bad, right? But Jahaziel was quick to add a disclaimer that this could happen to any gas station because it’s not really the company’s fault if there are just bad workers who are not afraid to cheat others of their hard-earned money.

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Palarong Pambansa Athlete Wins Medals, Offers Them on Mom’s Coffin




Death is inevitable, we all know that; however, it hits you harder when the death of a loved one happens at a time of great rejoicing. For how could you really celebrate that beautiful, fun moment when you are also grieving?

That’s what happened to a young athlete whose mother died while he was winning medals during the Palarong Pambansa in Vigan, Ilocos Sur.

On Twitter, user Alex Christian (@xtian197) shared the heartbreaking story of his young cousin, Ronie C. Trinidad, Jr.

Photo credit: Twitter / @xtian197

According to the post, the young boy had just arrived home from the Palarong Pambansa. And while everyone else was celebrating the medals they won, this young boy offered the ones he won on his mom’s coffin.

It turned out that Ronie’s mother died while he was still in Vigan. In a reply to a friend’s question on his Twitter post, user Alex revealed that his aunt had died due to Stage 4 lung cancer. While her cause of death meant Ronie and the rest of the family knew that she might die anytime soon, we’re sure they didn’t also expect it would happen really soon and that Ronie would be away at the time, winning the medals.

While his mother was not able to see the medals he won, Ronie made sure to display them on her coffin in her honor and to make her ‘see’ these medals before she is buried.

Photo credit: Twitter / @xtian197

The heartbreaking story has touched hearts across the country, with the Twitter post garnering close to 30,000 likes and more than 3,350 retweets. Many offered condolences to the bereaved family, especially to this young boy.

We’re hoping that the experience won’t bring him down and make him quit dance sport. We bet his mom would have been very proud of his achievements…

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Enforcers Throw Illegal Vendors’ Goods on the Street, Earn Mixed Reactions




A photo vendor frantically picking up his goods off a street in Cebu City after enforcers these to the ground has gotten mixed reactions from netizens.

Many of the busy streets in cities and towns across the Philippines have sidewalks that are almost impassable to pedestrians because these are blocked by illegal vendors or illegally parked vehicles. This is especially true in the big cities but is also seen even in small towns whose public markets are often situated right next to the highway.

Government officers tasked to clear the roads and sidewalks often encounter fierce resistance from these illegal vendors and vehicle owners. The vendors often plead for mercy, telling the officers that they are doing ‘nothing wrong’ except sell these goods to earn money for their children.

The cycle is unending. The vendors get caught or are able to run away, stop selling for a day or two, then sell again once the enforcers are busy someplace else.

But the photo of the illegal vendor shared by Cheng Sabellaga Gines has gained mixed reactions from netizens.

Photo credit: Cheng Sabellaga Gines / Facebook

According to Gines, the incident happened at Colon Street in Cebu City. In a post on Facebook, she wrote that while she is not complaining about the clearing operations because the government officers are just doing their jobs, she wishes for them to be more humane in their approach.

Instead of throwing the vendors’ goods to the ground, Gines hopes that they would just tell the vendors to pack up and leave.

Many people sided with Gines, saying that the vendors are also humans who are just trying to earn money for their respective families. Gines and many netizens defended the vendors, saying that they surely know they were doing something illegal but continue selling on the sidewalks to earn something in an honest manner.

But others also took the enforcers’ side, saying that force is definitely needed in such operations because these hard-headed vendors will just come back again and again.

What can you say about this?

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