Release of stimulus package fund urged
By Freddie G. Lazaro
Vigan City (February 27) -- Senator Manuel Villar had urged the national government to immediately release the funds for the stimulus package program for the creation of various jobs and livelihood opportunities in way to counter the advers effect of the global economic crisis in the country.
Senator Villar, who is the president of the Nacionalista Party, made this pronouncement during his short visit in Vigan City recently.
The senator expressed his strong support to the P330 Billion stimulus package fund being set aside by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo considering that this would greatly help the Filipinos in anticipation to the economic crisis.
However, he suggested that the implementation of the stimulus package should be urgent, transparent and make it sure that the people would feel the impact of the program. The package was realized by the Arroyo administration aiming to upgrade its infrastructure programs, expand its social protection and ensure sustainable growth in the midst of the global economic crisis.
"There's a need now by the national government to release its stimulus package because many of our fellow Filipinos especially those returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) that were laid off from their employers abroad are in need of jobs and livelihood here," Villar said.
"Many of our returning OFWs are jobless and hundreds of thousands of our college graduating students this school year are in need of job opportunities. Thus, this is now the appropriate time for our government to release the stimulus package fund to generate more jobs and livelihood opportunities for our people," he added.
To extend livelihood opportunities for the returning OFWs, Villar offered exclusively for them this year his Pondo sa Sipag, Puhunan sa Tiyaga program – a P100, 000.00 capital assistance for each recipient.
"What the applicant OFW do to avail this program is to write and submit a business venture proposal into our office for evaluation and validation. If your business proposal had potential and feasible, you will be chosen as one of the recipients of our capital assistance program," he assured.
The senator reported that his Pondo sa Sipag, Puhunan sa Tiyaga program had started last year with selected 16 entrepreneurs from all over the country and awarded P100,000 each as additional capital.
Earlier, Villar had called the returning OFWs, especially those displaced by the global economic slowdown, to start their own business.
The senator urged the displaced OFWs to join the ranks of budding entrepreneurs now sprouting in different parts of the country and at the same time contribute to the effort of creating employment opportunities for the Filipinos who will lose their jobs as a result of the crisis.
"Like the overseas Filipino workers who continue to support their families and the national economy with their remittances, I am convinced that entrepreneurs who embark on micro, small and medium enterprises could be our newest batch of economic heroes," Villar said.
Recently, Villar also filed a bill in senate seeking insurance coverage for OFWs. (PIA Ilocos Sur) [top]