By Ali G. Macabalang
The Development Bank of the Philippines and the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) are set to establish an investment program for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to safely put their hard-earned money for modest earnings while at the same time help rebuild the country’s economy, proponent officials announced.
DBP and MinDA officials led respectively by bank President Emmanuel G. Herbosa, and the MinDA Chairman, Sec. Manny Piñol met on Feb. 1 in Makati and agreed to work on the details and mechanics of MinDA OFW Investments Fund aimed at offering the country’s overseas workers a secured investments program, Dr. Adrian Tamayo said.
The project is another innovative approach Sec. Piñol conceived in partnership with the DBP to break years-old trend where many OFWs are usually ending up penniless when they return home because their earnings were improperly managed, said Tamayo, chief of MinDA communications and public affairs department.
A MinDA statement cited statistics placing OFWs’ remittances to their families at P1.6-trillon a year, and said many of them have been victimized by investments scams promising incredible returns.
Sec. Piñol said his office has received inquiries from OFWs seeking guidance on safe investment avenues, inspiring him to conceive the OFW Investments Fund Program anchored on placing part of remittances in various agricultural and fisheries programs initiated by the agency, Tamayo said.
In response, DBP President Herbosa said the “Principal Protect” policy of the program will be adopted in handling the OFWs investments, which means that while the returns could be in the vicinity of 1.5% annually, OFWs’ hard-earned money will be protected from any risk, he said in a recent Facebook post.
“At the same time, the OFWs will be able to perform a patriotic act of helping the Philippine Economy, badly battered by the COVID 19 Pandemic to a pathetic negative 9.5%, the worst economic performance since 1947,” he said.
Sec. Pinol proposed the following as among MinDA-initiated ventures where OFWs can invest in:
1. Bamboo Industry Development Program which targets 1-M hectares of denuded and logged over areas, watersheds and sources of headwaters located in the 8 major river basins of Mindanao;
2. The Mindanao Fish Cage Program which will support fishermen in establishing fish cages in the different bays and coves of Mindanao to contribute to food production;
3. The Mindanao Cattle Industry Development Program which seeks to support local government units and private individuals in establishing fattening and breeding programs to boost the country’s meat supply;
4. The MinDA Water Supply Program which aims to provide loan funds for LGUs and farmers associations in establishing Solar-Powered Irrigation and Water Systems;
5. The Mindanao Hog Industry Development Program which aims to boost the production of hogs in areas which have not been affected by the African Swine Fever; and
6. Other food production projects such as chicken raising, high-value vegetable farming and high-value fruit tree farming.
It was agreed during the meeting at the DBP Makati Office lately that the details and mechanics of the MinDA OFW Investments Fund will be crafted by a joint team of DBP and MinDA technical people, Piñol said.
A massive information drive targeting prospective OFW investors will be undertaken after the details of the program shall have been finalized, he said. (
The DBP-MinDA partnership has succeeded in putting up automated teller machines in the towns of Malabang and Balabagan, and an intensive solar-powered irrigation and waterworks systems in Taraka.
All three towns belong to Lanao del Sur, one of five component provinces of the Bangsamoro autonomous region. AGM