DOLE regional offices set for OFW aid
MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Labor and Employment’s regional offices are all set to implement the agency’s P1-billion package of tertiary education assistance for dependents of COVID-19-affected overseas Filipino workers.
In a statement published on the DOLE website, Secretary Silvestre Bello III encouraged OFWs who have children or dependents in college to avail of the aid program his office and the Commission on Higher Education put in place.
The DOLE regional offices will take care of the processing of applications under the program and ensure its implementation including the release of cash grants to beneficiaries.
The program is a one-time P30,000 cash aid to qualified beneficiaries.
“The assistance is on a first-come, first-serve basis that is why we advise our OFWs to apply at our regional offices this early,” said Bello. “They will facilitate the preparation of payment, including the release of the financial benefit to the grantees.”
DOLE and CHED’s grant will cover school costs including textbooks, academic and extra-curricular expenses, board and lodging, transportation, health or medical needs, and school supplies.
Tabang OFW will provide grant-in-aid to the OFWs’ children who are currently enrolled and the students must meet the admission and retention requirements of government and private colleges and universities.
Qualified grantees should have never been expelled from school, are not under scholarship programs from the government, and have been DOLE-certified as a dependent of an OFW who have been repatriated or displaced due to COVID-19 or have died from the virus.
The recipients must also be financially dependent on the OFWs for their college education to qualify for the program that Bello and CHED chair Prospero de Vera III signed.
Under the circular, DOLE will identify the OFWs who have at least one dependent or is intending to enroll in a public or public higher education institution in the 2020-21 academic year.
The repatriated or displaced OFW will elect one of his or her dependent that should be included in the program, while the legal surviving spouse, parent, or next of kin should be the one to signify the dependent if the OFW has been deceased.
The fund for the program will be transferred to DOLE by CHEd’s United Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education.
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