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    Posted June 29, 2014 by

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    Benefits for overseas Filipino workers pushed

    A PHILIPPINE lawmaker on Sunday said she has filed a bill granting financial incentives and benefits to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to encourage them to put up businesses or engage in entrepreneurial activities.
    Authored by Rep. Regina Ongsiako Reyes of Marinduque Province, House Bill 4283 mandates the government to recognize the contributions of the OFWs in helping the country's economy to flourish and grow.
    "One way for OFWs to invest is through the establishment of new businesses, specifically, small businesses, also known as micro small and medium enterprises or MSME's, whose objective is to maximize profits," Reyes said.
    At present, Reyes said the government programs are clearly insufficient to encourage the OFWs to invest their hard-earned money in the country and assist in attaining financial stability to facilitate their reintegration and improve the quality of their lives.
    "The government should encourage OFW's to make investments and undertake positive action to uplift the quality of their lives, and it may do so through government intervention, with the help of LGU's and even NGO's," Reyes said.
    Reyes said the new businesses would create more jobs and sources of income, which will then be the source of more taxes to the government, and such businesses may even attract potential foreign investors, which will then trigger further economic growth for the country.
    Under the measure, OFWs and or their immediate family members shall be given unlimited and preferential access to financing from government financial institutions at rates below the market rates.
    OFWs and their immediate family members may avail of the income tax holiday for the first five years of their business. They are also qualified for a 50 percent reduction from income tax.
    Another 50 percent reduction can be availed on real property taxes to the local government unit where the real property used for business purposes is located.
    The investment incentives may be availed only when the established business is related to education, food, goods consumed by the general public, or established with the intention of boosting the Philippine tourism industry or will showcase Filipino heritage and culture, or used for establishment of facilities intended for retirement.
    The measure provides another 20 percent reduction on the required national, local or business taxes, if the place currently used by the OFWs in their business will be converted into a business establishment.
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