Gov’t extends P81-M cash aid to stranded OFWs
MANILA, Philippines — The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has released more than P81 million in cash assistance to migrant workers affected by the travel bans imposed by the government to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus to the Philippines.
OWWA data showed that 8,106 overseas workers received P10,000 from the agency after they were left stranded by the ban on travel to China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
The amount given to the stranded migrants was meant “to ease their burden and assist them back to their places of origin.”
On Feb. 2, the government imposed a ban on travel to and from China, Hong Kong and Macau to keep the coronavirus out of the Philippines. A week later, it restricted travel to and from Taiwan.
The Interagency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases would later lift the ban on travel to Taiwan.
Migrant workers were also allowed entry to Hong Kong and Macau, provided they sign a waiver that they know the risks that they are exposing themselves to in going to the special administrative regions of China.
Following the relaxation of the ban, the OWWA stopped providing the cash assistance, drawn from the agency’s trust fund, on Feb. 20. China-based migrants, however, are still entitled to receive it.
From Monday to Wednesday, claims can be made at Cuneta Astrodome, while from Thursday to Friday, these can be made at the Pasay City Hall.
Nearly half of the P81-million assistance, or some P37 million, was released by the OWWA’s National Capital Region office.
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