Advocacy group urges gov’t to provide more support, aid to OFWs stranded by travel ban

Published February 13, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Jeffrey Damicog

An advocacy group on Thursday (Feb. 13) urged the government to provide more support and compensation to overseas Filipino workers (OFW) affected by the travel bans imposed as part of precautionary measures against the threat of the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“The Duterte government must provide significant support and compensation for stranded OFWs bound for Hong Kong, Macau, China, and Taiwan who have lost income and employment,” Migrante International said in a statement.

Migrante said the government only offered P10,000 in assistance to OFWs affected by the travel ban.

“It is unacceptable that they should only receive a minuscule amount from OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) for all the inconvenience and trouble that they are going through,” Migrante said.

“This is an extremely inadequate response by the Duterte government for those who are about to lose their jobs and income.”

The group is also expecting the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) “to reach out to foreign authorities to facilitate visa extension for Filipino migrant workers and students stranded in the Philippines and in the cited countries.”

“Migrante International chapters are already providing rights and welfare assistance to distressed OFWs and migrants hit by the travel ban and flight cancellations,” it added.