National News

OWWA Approves Cash Aid to 35K OFWs

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) recently reported that 35,000 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who are currently in the country have availed a cash assistance of USD 200 (Php 10,000) under the ‘Abot-Kamay ang Pagtulong Program’ of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-AKAP).

“For now, we have approved close to 35,000 applications. Of this number, 50 percent is land-based OFWs and 50 percent is sea-based OFWs. I am pointing this out because many seafarers say they are at a disadvantage on this program. But they should not worry because the distribution is fair, it’s 50-50,” states Hans Leo Cacdac, OWWA Administrator, in an article by the Philippine News Agency. Cacdac added that beneficiaries include land-based and sea-based OFWs.

Department Order 212, Series of 2020 prescribes guidelines on the provision of financial assistance for displaced landbased and seabased Filipino workers due to the Coronavirus Disease. The Abot-Kamay ang Pagtulong Program covers Regular/Documented OFW, Qualified Undocumented OFW, and Balik-Manggagawa.

This includes the following eligibility: those who have experienced job displacement due to the receiving country’s imposition of lockdown or community quarantine or having been infected by the disease; must be still at overseas jobsites, or in the Philippines as Balik-Manggagawa, or already repatriated to the Philippines; and must not receive any financial support/assistance from the receiving countries/employers.

Cacdac also revealed that they are planning to extend aid to 50,000 OFWs, 30% of the total target beneficiaries. The remainder of which are currently working abroad.

“In overseas posts, 70 percent of the DOLE-AKAP (fund) will be distributed. The remaining percent is here in the Philippines. We now have 35,000 approved applicants and we are approaching the target of 50,000 OFWs,” Cacdac adds.

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