P2B set for disbursement to help OFWs displaced by COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is set to disburse another P2 billion funds to help overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) temporarily or permanently displaced by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
According to the Labor Department, starting November 30, OFWs who will be repatriated to the Philippines may file their application for DOLE’s AKAP financial assistance prior to their arrival in the country.
DOLE said OFWs may receive their benefits within three to five days upon submission of complete documents.
Under the new system, all new applications for AKAP will be accepted through the website oasis.owwa.gov.ph for displaced OFWs who are scheduled for repatriation.
This will allow the offices of the (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) to process and evaluate the applications in advance.
“This will shorten the waiting period of OFW applicants as they are now allowed to apply while still on site and receive the financial assistance once they come back home to the Philippines,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in a statement Sunday.
Meanwhile, for stranded Balik-Manggagawa and seafarers whose deployment was suspended due to COVID-19 as well as those who have been and will be repatriated before November 30, DOLE said applications must still be filed through dole-akap.owwa.gov.ph.
On the other hand, displaced OFWs who will remain onsite may file their application through the Philippine Overseas Labor Office covering their workplace.
DOLE said it has so far disbursed P3.45 billion benefitting 338,900 distressed OFWs.
The P2 billion funds set for disbursement will be taken from the Bayanihan To Recover As One Act or Bayanihan 2 and is expected to benefit 200,000 OFWs who will receive P10,000 cash aid.
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