OWWA-XI continues assistance to displaced overseas workers

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Davao City — The provision of financial assistance for the overseas Filipinos continues in the region, as almost 5,000 have already benefited from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration’s PhP10,000.00 one-time cash assistance.

Out of the approved 6,446 applicants of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)-AKAP program for the displaced land-based and sea-based OFs due to COVID-19, 4,890 have received the assistance as of last week.

OWWA-XI Welfare Officer Mialou Batican said there are still around 300 pending applications online. 

“On-going pa rin po yung release natin base sa ano yung pondong ibinigay sa atin, and then doon po sa mga approved na at hindi pa mare-releasan ngayong week na ito, maghihintay lang po sila ng mga ilang araw pa,” Batican assured saying that the assistance fund is on process.

She said the OWWA-XI office is still accepting online applications, as she urged OFs in need of the assistance to visit their website at dole-akap.owwa.ph for the application forms and for the other details of the online application.

“So, hindi po nila kailangang pumunta sa opisina para mag-submit ng mga dokumento. And then, i-momonitor na po nila yung mga email, kasi doon po kami nagco-conduct if meron kaming mga verification,” Batican explained during the Philippine Information Agency Region XI’s One Davao on COVID-19 virtual presser on September 25, 2020.

She said that OWWA has not set a deadline for the submission of applications, and that their online system is still open to receive applications.

Meanwhile, Batican bared that they have assisted more than 13,000 returning OFs including those from other regions who made Davao City as their entry point from May 4 to September 15.

“Ito po sila ay hindi lang yan siya para sa mga dokumentadong OFs, meron din pong nakasama na mga undocumented, pero binigyan din po natin sila ng assistance. Kasama na po yung ating sweepers flight na ina-arrange mula sa central office doon po sa OWWA,” she elaborated.

Batican also added that they have been receiving requests for assistance from stranded OFs abroad due to lockdowns, end of contracts and loss of jobs.

She mentioned that a lot of cases involved the domestic helpers whose contracts have ended but can’t go home yet because of the lockdowns and because their employers will not allow them to go without replacement.

She said that those who requested facilitation of their return have been endorsed to their respective embassy to negotiate with their employers and to remind the employers of their responsibilities.

“Sa ngayon, ito po yung ating protocols,” Batican stated.

OWWA-XI’s continued assistance and support to the OFs and their families in the midst of the pandemic has been a timely contribution to celebrate the 28th National Family Week from September 21-30. –PIA

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