OFW returnees top 170k; more to benefit from AKAP

OFW returnees top 170k; more to benefit from AKAP

Returning migrant workers who were sent home to their respective provinces by the government already stood at 170,000 the labor department reported on Sunday.

In a report to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration said the month of August alone was capped with 55,709 OFW returnees making their homecoming after being tested negative of the corona virus.

All those listed OFWs were provided with temporary accommodation and other assistance while waiting for their Covid test results. OWWA also arranged the transportation for their safe return to the provinces.

The government has been providing quarantine accommodation, food and other assistance to repatriated OFWs since May and has so far sent home a total of 173,088 to their destinations as of August 29.

President Duterte approved the release of P5 billion under Bayanihan 1 law to OWWA in June for the repatriation and assistance to returning OFWs.

This developed as more Covid-affected OFWs are set to benefit from DOLE’s one-time cash aid with the release of an initial P400 million from the P1-billion additional fund set aside for the AKAP program.

So far, P2.492 billion had already been disbursed benefiting 243,326 displaced OFWs who were either still on-site or those already repatriated. The assistance fund has a P2.5 billion allocation also from the emergency Bayanihan law.

With P1 billion augmentation fund, DOLE is looking at extending assistance to additional 100,000 OFWs who will benefit from AKAP.

Already, the $200 or P10,000 aid program had processed and approved 280,253 requests for assistance from both land-based and sea-based workers. Total aid requests received by DOLE’s foreign offices and OWWA stood at 617,431 as of Saturday, August 29.— Source: dole.gov.ph

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