The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah Pangandaman unveiled the proposed PHP 15.3 billion budget for 2024, aimed at aiding the interests and well-being of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) on Tuesday, November 21.
In a press release, Pangandaman emphasized, “Under the leadership of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., our government will never neglect the welfare of our migrant workers.”
The budget proposal for the upcoming year includes P9.7 billion for the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Emergency Repatriation Program (ERP) to aid forcibly repatriated OFWs.
The Balik Pinas, Balik Hanapbuhay Program (BPBH) sees a P9 million increase, reaching P440.115 million. The BPBH offers livelihood support to returning OFWs, providing entrepreneurship development training and P20,000 in cash assistance as start-up or additional capital.
An additional P227.995 million is allocated for the Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-Unlad ng Samahang-OFWs (TULONG PUSO), supporting the formation, enhancement, or restoration of livelihood projects for OFW organizations.
Empowering the families of OFWs with viable business enterprises, P18 million is dedicated to the OFW Enterprise Development and Loan Program (EDLP). Mandated by Republic Act No. 10801, the EDLP, in partnership with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), allows OFW families to create employment alternatives in their communities.
Pangandaman also added, “They are our heroes. It is only fitting that they receive assistance and support, especially during times of crisis. We stand with them at the DBM. The government is their ally.”