Bill seeks funds from Filipinos abroad
Government mulls the creation of a special cash pool for key infrastructure projects in the country
Abill filed in the House of Representatives pushes for the establishment of a special fund through which overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) can invest their money into the government’s infrastructure projects.
Representative Jesulito Manalo of the seafarers’ partylist, ANGKLA, filed House Bill 6519 or the OFW Sovereign Fund Act, a special fund where all investments by Filipino citizens overseas and their immediate family members can be lodged. The pooled money, will be forwarded to the Bureau of Treasury to fund select projects.
The fund will also enable the OFWs to directly benefit from the billions of pesos it pours into the Philippine economy in the form of remittances.
“The projects [could] include the purchase or the establishment by the government of strong cash-generating private or government corporations involved in the downstream petroleum industry, electric power generation, transmission and distribution industry, information and communications technology industry, and other strong cash-generating enterprises,” Manalo said.
Manalo, chairman of the committee on overseas workers affairs, added that the establishment of such a fund will help the government lessen its reliance on taxes and fees as the main source of funding for infrastructure projects.
He said that funds that would be used for the OFW Sovereign Fund should be exempt from taxes.
“House Bill 6519, now being fine-tuned by a technical working group (TWG) of the committee on overseas workers affairs, provides that no amount from the OFW Sovereign Fund shall be released for covering maintenance and other operating expenses or any capital outlay inconsistent with the provisions of the act,” he said.
The proposal also tasks the Bureau of Treasury to help notify and educate all OFWs about the programme.