The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has appealed to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their dependents to avail themselves of the agency’s scholarship and livelihood programs to help them ride out the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the government’s daily “Laging Handa” public briefing, OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac enumerated some of their programs that would help displaced OFWs and their families.
He said the OWWA’s “Project EASE” or the Educational Assistance through Scholarship in Emergencies does not have a deadline so that interested and qualified children of OFW returnees would be able to finance their studies despite the pandemic.
Under the recently-launched program, a cash grant of P10,000 per year for a maximum of four years would be given to qualified OFWs dependents on the college level. The OWWA had allotted a P400-million budget for the first year of its implementation.
Aside from the EASE, Cacdac also said they have the “Education Development Scholarship Program” with already 400 scholars, although OFW-dependents must first past the qualifying exam conducted by the Department of Science and Technology (DoST) every year.
A “lesser-known” program, he said, is the OFW Dependents Scholarship Program (ODSP) for children of “low-income” Filipino workers abroad who earn $600 per month. Cacdac urged OFWs and their children to apply in the ODSP.
He also explained anew that the “Tulong Puso” group livelihood assistance would make sure that businesses of OFW returnees will have a chance of success.
Meanwhile, Cacdac said the Department of Labor and Employment’s Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (DoLE-AKAP) for displaced OFWs will resume following the signing of the Bayanihan to Recover as One or Bayanihan 2 Act.
“That’s the good news, the DoLE-AKAP will again receive a P2-billion funding from the Bayanihan 2,” he said in Filipino. “We will have another round, or tranche of distribution to at least 200,000 DOLE-AKAP beneficiaries.”
According to Cacdac, some 202,000 repatriates have been sent home to their families since May 15.