Land-based and sea-based overseas workers whose employment was displaced by the Coronavirus pandemic will be given Php10K Cash Aid!
According to Secretary Silvestre Bello III,
“The Department of Labor and Employment has already prepared the guidelines of the DOLE-AKAP assistance program for OFWs to ensure its effective and streamlined implementation”.
Covered OFWs and Seamen
The DOLE-AKAP assistance program will cover any of the following according to Sec. Bello:
- Regular/documented OFWs as defined in the 2016 Revised Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Rules and Regulations.
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.
- Qualified undocumented OFWs or those who were originally regular or documented workers, but for some reason or cause have thereafter lost their regular or documented status.
- Those 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 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 availing.
- Balik-Manggagawa who are unable to return to the host country in view of its lockdown due to COVID-19.
- OFWs who have experienced job displacement due to the receiving country’s imposition of lockdown or community quarantine or having been infected by the disease.
“They must be still at overseas job sites, 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,” Bello mentioned.
Furthermore, the government will prioritize OFWs coming from priority countries or territories.
Bello added that the Department shall provide financial assistance to qualified OFWs from countries with the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) presence and/ or are heavily affected by COVID-19.
Priority Countries in the Middle East
- Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and
- United Arab Emirates.
Priority Countries in Europe and the Americas
Please note that this coverage applies exclusively to OFWs from the US and Canada, excluding the countries in Central and South America.
- United Kingdom of Great Britain, and
- United States of America
Priority Countries in Asia and the Pacific
- Hong Kong
- Malaysia, and
- New Zealand.
How to apply for the Php10K Cash Aid
To apply for the cash assistance program, on-site OFWs must visit the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in their host country.
Meanwhile, repatriated OFWS and Balik Manggagawa must apply at OWWA Regional Welfare Offices (RWOs).
POLOs and OWWA, as well as DOLE offices, will be posting the detailed guidelines and requirements of the OFW cash assistance program.
Bello stated that the DOLE-AKAP funds, as well as the administrative expenses for Central and Regional operations during program implementation, will come from the Php1.5 Billion allocated under the DOLE COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (DOLE-CAMP).
May the winds be in your favor.