More than 120,000 OFWs brought home to provinces — OWWA

Published August 4, 2020, 3:49 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

More than 120,000 repatriated overseas Filipino workers have already been transported to their respective provinces by the government.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Tuesday cited a report from Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac which said that 122,369 OFWs had so far been assisted and sent to their home provinces since May by land and sea transport.

It said 2,369 OFWs took their rides home from the Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange on the eve of the return of the National Capital Region to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine, Monday.

“We will not get tired of assisting our returning OFWs, and facilitate their transport to the provinces and be with their families. This is just a small way to repay their enormous contribution to our country,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said.

Bello also revealed that the DOLE has almost exhausted the P2.5-billion Abot Kaya ang Pagtulong (AKAP) assistance fund being extended to both on-site and repatriated OFWs affected by the pandemic.

As of August 2, he said DOLE’s foreign and regional offices had disbursed a total of P2.324 billion to 226,714 land-based and sea-based OFWs. 

He said the agency has also approved the assistance request of 261,543 OFWs.

The available fund is meant for 250,000 beneficiaries.

AKAP is a one-time cash aid of P10,000 or $200 for affected OFWs who had sought the assistance.