Christmas is a time for family. And for most Overseas Filipino Workers, it is their once-a-year chance to go home and spend quality time with their loved ones.
But aside from it being an opportunity to celebrate the holidays with family and friends, coming back to the Philippines as an overseas worker has its advantages. Here are some perks a balikbayan can avail of, while here:

1. Housing Loan from SSS

If you are a member of SSS and have contributed in the last 36 months, then you are qualified to avail the Direct Housing Loan Facility of SSS. In this program, an overseas Filipino worker can loan up to 2,000,000 pesos that are payable for a maximum of 15 years, provided that the property will be occupied by you or your immediate family only.

2. Tax-Free Shopping at Duty-Free

Aside from the 10,000 worth of goods overseas Filipino workers can bring in the country that will not be taxed, you can also do additional tax-free shopping in Duty-Free Philippines, provided that you visit within 15 days after their travel and 30 days in Christmas season.

3. Voluntary Savings Program of Pag-IBIG

Another savings program that every overseas Filipino workers should consider getting is Pag-IBIG Overseas Program. In this program, you can save up with a better interest rate. You will be given a choice to save from 100 pesos to 1,200 pesos a month. After 20 years, with 5% interest rate, you can get up to over 377,000 after 20 years.

4. Free Language Courses from TESDA

Overseas Filipino workers and pre-qualified overseas Filipino workers can avail of TESDA’s free language courses. In this program, you can learn all the basics of the country’s language you will work for or are working for– for free! The slots for this program are very limited, but overseas Filipino workers are given the priority for this.

5. Health, Education, Insurance Assistance from OWWA

Overseas Filipino workers have the option to be a member of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) for a minimum fee and instantly get medical, life and travel assistance. This includes claiming up to 100,000 pesos depending on the sickness, a pre-departure education program that includes language and culture familiarization, access to on-site services, and family welfare assistance.
Working abroad definitely has its challenges. To read up on more informative articles for overseas Filipino workers, visit now.