POEA: No Loan Offers for OFWs
The chief of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Carlos S. Cao Jr. made it clear to everyone that the government agency he is handling is not offering any lending services to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
The announcement was made by Cao after the arrest of a suspected swindler who is said to be collecting fees from applicants so he can help them obtain a cash loan from POEA.
The POEA chief reported that the swindler was arrested with the help of a couple from Zamboanga City. The couple sought the assistance of the POEA security officers when the person who offered assistance to apply for a loan failed to give them the amount they are expecting.
The complainants said that the suspect introduced himself to them as Ronnie F. Soner a.k.a. Ronnie Montillano and identified him from a surveillance video camera recorded at the second floor of the POEA building.
The couple met Soner while they are applying for a loan at the main office of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) in Pasay City on July 12, 2011. Soner befriended them and suggested that they apply for a loan from POEA instead because the processing will be faster. Unfortunately, the couple was convinced by Soner and gave him Php 8,750 as processing fee for a Php 30,000 loan which they thought they would receive on July 20, 2011. Their conversation was also caught by the surveillance camera of the facility.
Soner was arrested by the joint POEA-OWWA security forces while eyeing probable victims at the OWWA main office on July 29, 2011. He was brought to the Mandaluyong Police Office for filing of appropriate charges.