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MANILA, Philippines -- Recruiters for overseas work on Monday rejected the proposal to double the OWWA fee collected from every documented overseas Filipino worker from $25 to $50 per contract.
Recruitment consultant Emmanuel Geslani said Manila Rep. Ma. Theresa Bonoan-David's proposal will turn off principals or employers who pay the OWWA contribution of every departing OFW. He said this will cause the reduction of foreign companies who hire OFWs.
Bonoan-David has filed House Bill 6195 which seeks to increase the OWWA contribution to $50 to sustain the government’s emergency repatriation fund of distressed OFWs in times of war, disaster, and emergencies.
Geslani said that under Republic Act 10022, no additional fees may be imposed on top of the current fees stated in the law.
"Bonoan may be misinformed on the nature of the fund," which accumulates P100 million every year for a total of P13 billion, Geslani said.
The fund, which is entirely the OFWs' money, is only for the OFWs' welfare, particularly when they come home.
"It is the responsibility of the government to repatriate all OFWs whether documented or not. There is no distinction and our OFWs should not be burdened by any increase in the OWWA fee," he added.