The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Monday reported that nearly 100,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were already sent back to their homes.
The 95,702 OFWs were repatriated by the government due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to DOLE, the latest batch of 1,691 home-bound OFWs, all of whom tested negative for COVID-19, returned to their respective provinces on Saturday citing data from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
Last May, over 34,000 OFWs were also sent home by the government to their respective regions.
The Labor department said more than 61,000 were repatriated almost daily in the succeeding months.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has assured that the government will exhaust all means to help OFWs regain the jobs they lost abroad due to the pandemic.
Aside from transportation assistance, OWWA, in coordination with other government agencies, Philippine Recruitment Agencies (PRAs), and licensed manning agencies (LMAs), has been providing food, hygiene kits, and accommodation to returning OFWs.
The number of OFWs affected by the pandemic and seeking assistance increased to 572,442.
Latest reports from DOLE’s overseas offices and OWWA also showed that 240,583 requests for assistance under the government’s Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) program have been approved, with 203,585 OFWs already receiving the emergency aid.
AKAP is a one-time cash assistance of $200 or P10,000 for onsite or repatriated OFWs affected by the pandemic.