Filipino migrant workers may soon get discounts of up to 50% on remittance fees after new legislation passed its second reading by Philippines lawmakers.
The House of Representatives approved House Bill 9032, or the proposed Overseas Filipino Workers Remittance Protection Act, which will provide a discount on remittance fees for migrant workers sending money to their families in the Philippines, The Filipino Times reported. According to a report in the Nikkei Asian Review, in 2017 alone, Filipino overseas migrant workers sent home just over $28 billion.
The author of the bill, Aurelio Gonzales Jr., said the new law stipulates that banks and non-bank financial intermediaries shall provide a mandatory discount on remittance fees of 10% to 50%.
“These remittances are transferred from migrant workers to intermediaries, such as financial and non-bank financial institutions, before they reach their beneficiaries. During the (transfer process), the amounts remitted are subject to several fees and high remittance charges which result in the depletion (of the amount received),” Gonzales said.
Financial intermediaries are prohibited from raising their current remittance fees until they consult with the Department of Finance, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines, and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. Any person found violating provisions of the act will face penalties such as imprisonment and fines.