Over 100K repatriated OFWs brought to home provinces — DOLE
MANILA, Philippines — More than 100,000 repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have been brought to their home provinces amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported Sunday.
Citing data from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), DOLE said 2,246 more OFWs were transported back to their provinces on July 25 after testing negative for COVID-19.
This brought the total number of repatriated OFWs who have been transported back to their home provinces to 106,200, said DOLE.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the government will exhaust all means to help the repatriated OFWs get employed after losing their jobs abroad because of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, aside from transportation assistance, OWWA, in coordination with other agencies, the Philippine recruitment agencies (PRAs), and licensed manning agencies (LMAs), have also provided the repatriated OFWs with food, hygiene kits, and accommodation.
This came after DOLE said it has already exceeded the 250,000 OFW beneficiaries to be assisted by its P2.5-billion emergency fund.
As per the latest reports from DOLE’s overseas offices and OWWA, a total of 254,846 requests for assistance under the Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) program had been approved, with 214,619 OFWs already receiving the emergency aid.
AKAP is one-time cash assistance of $200 or P10,000 for onsite and repatriated OFWs affected by the pandemic. About 554,966 migrant workers have sought the government cash aid, said DOLE.
DOLE has likewise requested for an additional P2.5 billion budget to address the needs of more OFWs seeking assistance, saying that it has already disbursed P2.232 billion of the P2.5-billion program fund as of July 21.
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