The government has so far sent home a total of 173,088 overseas Filipino workers to their respective provinces as of Aug. 29, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported Sunday.
Administrator Hans Cacdac of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration in his report to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the month of August had 55,709 OFW returnees making their homecoming after they tested negative for COVID-19.
According to DOLE, all those listed OFWs were provided with temporary accommodation and other assistance while waiting for their COVID test results.
OWWA 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.
President Duterte approved the release of P5 billion under Bayanihan 1 law to OWWA in June for the repatriation and assistance to returning OFWs.
The Labor department said more COVID-affected OFWs are set to benefit from their one-time cash aid with the release of an initial P400 million from the P1-billion additional fund set aside for the Abot Kamay and Pagtulong (AKAP) program.
DOLE said so far P2.492 billion has 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.
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 foreign offices and OWWA stood at 617,431 as of Saturday.