Bill seeks funds from Filipinos abroad

Gov­ern­ment mulls the cre­ation of a spe­cial cash pool for key in­fra­struc­ture projects in the coun­try

Gulf News - - Asia / Philippines -

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.

Tax-free pro­posal

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.

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