A few weeks ago, the Department of Labor and Employment promised a one-time USD200.00 or Php10,000.00 financial assistance program. The monetary aid is aimed at land-based and sea-based workers displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Seafarers and OFWs waited patiently for the guidelines which they (DOLE) recently released last April 09.
Are you Qualified for The Financial Assistance?
DOLE has set out guidelines as to which overseas workers are covered and eligible for the financial aid.
Before jumping on the bandwagon, you might want to check them out if you are entitled for the one-time Php10,000.00 cash assistance.
The Department Order generally covers three types of overseas workers.
1. Regular/documented OFWs as defined in the 2016 Revised Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Rules and Regulations refers to those:
- Regular or documented OFWs are those who possess a valid passport and appropriate visa or permit to stay and work in the receiving country; and
- Whose contract of employment has been processed by the POEA or the POLO.
2. Qualified Undocumented OFWs
- Those who were originally regular or documented workers, but for some reason or cause have thereafter lost their regular or documented status;
- OFWs who are not registered with the POEA or whose contracts were not processed by POEA or the POLO, but have undertaken actions to regularize their contracts or status; or
- Those who are not registered with the POEA or whose contracts were not processed by POEA or the POLO, but are active OWWA members at the time of availment.
3. Balik-Manggagawa who are unable to return to host country in view of its lockdown due to COVID-19.
While the coverage defines the types of overseas workers legally working abroad, eligibility sets the condition if you are displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
An OFW or Seafarer must experience one of these:
- 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.
On my previous post, you can also find more information regarding what Sec. Bello said about the DOLE-AKAP program.
Its also listed there the priority countries or territories for on-site OFWs.
Now for the part that everyone is waiting for. These are the requirements needed to verify if you are entitled for the Php10,000.00 financial assistance.
Also mentioned below are the steps in processing/ submitting your requirements including the process for releasing your financial aid.
For On-site OFWs
1. OFWs shall submit the following to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO):
- Accomplished Application Form for Special Cash Assistance downloadable at the POLO’s website or social media account;
- Copy of Passport or travel document;
- Proof of overseas employment. Examples are valid verified overseas employment, OEC, residence I.D.s, visa/ re-entry visa, among other or permit to stay in the receiving country;
- Proof of loss of employment on account of COVID-19; and
- For OFWs who became undocumented through no fault of their own, proof that the OFW is currently involved in an ongoing case (e.g. case reference number, case endorsement stamped by POLO, among others)
2. After submission of complete documents, POLOs shall evaluate your submission. They will notify OFWs on the status of his/ her application within 5 working days.
3. If approved, the concerned POLO shall release the USD200.00 through bank transfer/ money remittance.
For OFWs Who Have Been Repatriated/ Balik-Manggagawa
1. OFWs who have been repatriated to the Philippines and Balik-Manggagawa shall submit the following. Remember that DOLE-AKAP assistance observes the stringent guidelines on social distancing.
Therefore, they urge applicants to submit the requirements online using their website.
- Accomplished Application Form for Special Cash Assistance downloadable at the https://dole-akap.owwa.gov.ph/. The website can only be accessed in the Philippines. Otherwise, you will get a error if you access it from abroad.
- Copy of Passport or travel document;
- Proof of overseas employment i.e. valid verified overseas employment, OEC, residence I.D.s, visa/ re-entry visa, among other or permit to stay in the receiving country;
- Copy of flight ticket or boarding pass or arrival stamp/ sticker attached in the passport.
- Proof of loss of employment on account of COVID-19.
Next Simple Steps
Personal information is required to identify the individual. Just fill them out honestly and click “Next“.
Equally important are your documents like Passport, OEC, airline ticket or any proof that you are displaced by the COVID-19. This will help speed up the process.
2. Additionally, RWOs shall evaluate your application within 5 working days after submission of complete documents.
3. During the validation or verification process, OWWA Officers may call you through your contact details or FB account. Be ready to show the actual documents if so required.
4. If approved, the concerned DOLE regional Office shall release the Php10,000.00 through money remittance/ Peso Net.
After evaluation and approval from RWOs, the money is sent to the recipient via Palawan Express, MLhuilier, LBC or bank transfer.
Some seafarers and OFWs already received their financial assistance from DOLE-AKAP. Hope you receive your financial aid now, Kabayan!
May the winds be on your favor.