23 May2017



Mr. President, as Chairman of the Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies, this representation humbly submits to this chamber Senate Bill No. 785 under Committee Report No. 85, entitled "AN ACT PROVIDING A SYSTEM OF EXTENDING NO-COLLATERAL, LOW-INTEREST LOANS TO GRADUATES OF ANY COURSES OFFERED BY THE TECHNICAL EDUCATION AND SKILLS DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OR DULY ACCREDITED LEARNING INSTITUTIONS WITH APPROVED OVERSEAS JOB CONTRACTS".

Many of the graduates of various courses offered by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority ("TESDA") and other learning institutions lose opportunities to work as an Overseas Filipino Worker ("OFW") or as an entrepreneur due to the inability to raise the funds necessary to cover placement and travel fees for OFWs or capital for entrepreneurs.

Under this proposed measure, holders of national certificates issued by the TESDA or any accredited learning institution may secure special loans by the government and private banking financial institutions. Provided, that these OFWs must have approved job contracts that are validated by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and that prospective entrepreneurs must present viable start-up projects before they can avail of the special loans.

Further, the measure requires from a borrower the designation of a person, preferably a legitimate spouse or a member of the borrower's immediate family, as a co-borrower in order to promote risk-sharing and collective responsibility in the payment of the loan. It likewise requires the borrower to attend a counseling seminar to fully inform him/her of the responsibilities and penalties for non-payment of a loan.

Furthermore, the bill puts a cap on the loanable amount at One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100,000.00), payable within a period not to exceed ten (10) years. This amount shall be subjected to interest rates that are market-determined to provide lenders the leeway to set the cost of credit, based on their assessment of the risks and profiles of their borrowers.

With this overriding objective of providing better credit options to members of our workforce, I humbly implore all my colleagues to immediately pass this bill.

Thank you very much, Mr. President and my dear colleagues.






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