DFP, TESDA set relaunch of ‘Kabuhayan’ shopping for OFWs

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

September 26, 2018, 7:26 pm

<p><em>(Photo courtesy of Duty Free Philippines)</em></p>

(Photo courtesy of Duty Free Philippines)

MANILA – Duty free shopping limit for overseas Filipino workers (OFW) who will establish a business in the Philippines may be increased to USD4,500 through the Duty Free Philippines' (DFP) Kabuhayan Shopping Program, an official said Wednesday.

Malu Malabuyo, officer-in-charge for DFP Marketing, said this initiative, which was introduced in 2011, will give returning OFWs an exclusive opportunity to buy additional duty and tax-free livelihood tools up to USD2,000.

"We have a USD2,500 shopping limit for OFWs. With the addition of USD2,000, OFWs can shop at least USD4,000-worth of Kabuhayan items," she told the Philippine News Agency.

For OFWs who may be short on funds, Malabuyo said partner banks will be offering credit cards that can be used on the spot.

"Actually, we have bank partners and they will collaborate with us. If mahihirapan sila ng (If the OFWs cannot give) outright cash, they can avail of credit cards na puwede na nilang gamitin (that they can use)," she said.

The DFP, in coordination with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), on Sept. 30 will relaunch the initiative for OFWs who want to better manage their earnings abroad.

The Kabuhayan Shopping Program is provided for under the Balikbayan Law, or Republic Act 9174, which provides duty free shopping privileges and incentives to all OFWs/balikbayans.

The additional USD2,000 shopping limit on livelihood tools covers items necessary to start a small and micro enterprise business such as bread and pastry production, cookery, housekeeping, shielded metal welding, carwash, among others.

DFP Chief Operating Officer Vicente Angala earlier said they have strengthened the livelihood program through TESDA's assistance.

"The Kabuhayan Shopping Program provides opportunities for our fellow balikbayans to spend their hard-earned money efficiently, investing in livelihood tools for small and micro enterprise businesses. We are pleased to strengthen this initiative with TESDA who will also offer training for business development, marketing, among others,” he said. (PNA)