Filipino expats in the UAE may soon get 50 per cent concession on remittance fees when they send money to their families in the Philippines.
A bill seeking to grant Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) discounts to their remittances was approved by The House of Representatives, The Filipino Times reported. This has been done to acknowledge their contribution to the national economy.
The proposed 'Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) Remittance Protection Act' stipulates that banks and non-bank financial intermediaries shall provide a mandatory discount on remittance fees of 10 to 50 per cent depending on the amount to be remitted, reported Manila Bulletin.
"These OFW remittances are transferred from the OFWs to intermediaries, such as financial and non-bank financial institutions, before they reach their beneficiaries. In the course of the fund transfer, the amounts remitted are subject to several fees and high remittance charges which result in the depletion of the amount to be remitted and received," Gonzales was quoted as saying in the report.
Those who give discounts on remittance fees may claim them as a tax deduction according to the cost of services rendered for the OFWs. The tax deduction shall be mandatory, thus it shall grant incentives for remittance establishments as they grant the discounts, the report pointed out.
Financial intermediaries are prohibited from raising their current remittance service fees until they consult Department of Finance (DOF), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
Those found violating the Act will invite imprisonment and hefty fines.
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