Applying for OWWA Business Loan
by Toy Buenafe
I was a seafarer who worked some years abroad. I read an ad about OWWA benefit that every OFW can apply. It was about a loan that OWWA can give if an OFW decided to stay in the Philippines for good! The ad was so attractive that made a lot of OFWs or their relatives interested! Thank you OWWA, but that ad was too good to be true!
I went to OWWA NCR office and applied for the benefit and they asked where will I put my business. They said that if my business will not be in NCR, I cannot attend their seminar. I need to attend a seminar in the region where I will put my business. So I told them that I am going to build an eatery in Taguig, and they let me join the seminar that will start at 2 pm that day. Before that, I need to update my membership and submit it to them. Imagine that? You will be in line to get an update of your membership and submit that update back to them???
The seminar started 30 minutes late with a lot of people. An OWWA rep explained about the benefit and who can apply for it. OWWA is joined by Land Bank for this project. Land Bank will be the one lending you the money, not OWWA! OWWA is just there to tell OFWs who want to apply for business loan. You will be attending three phases of trainings provided by OWWA and you will be asked to make 50 pages business plan plus your complete business permits! When we started, we were all like this :) after a while we were like :I
A guest speaker came to say something and we found out he was telling us about franchising his water distilling station business. That if you are going to have a business with him, you do not have to make a business plan because he will make it for you! To make that story short all of us were like this :( at the end of the seminar.
To secure a complete business permit, first you need to apply for a zoning permit that will cost you over a thousand pesos! If you are going to renovate an old building you must have a building permit. Then before applying for police clearance, you need to go first to your local MTC just to be in line and expect to pay an amount of 50 pesos. You must have also a sanitary health permit and fire protection permit which you can have if you have fire extinguishers. And comes the Mayor's permit that you will have to be in line everyday in more than a week to have it.
Now you go to your OWWA regional to schedule your three phases of seminars. After almost a week, you will get two certificates from OWWA saying that you attend business seminars with them. You will buy some stocks to your store, xerox copy all your business documents and stocks plus pictures. At this time you will take all those things including your more than 50 pages business plan to Land Bank. There, you will be told that they only entertain an applicant with a collateral!
Of course we know that you need a collateral to loan from a bank, but why we still have to go to OWWA? If an OFW would like to loan money from a bank, take your land title and go straight to a bank. It will be easier for you and less work.