Duterte wants distribution of OFWs’ cash aid to be completed by Christmas

Published November 2, 2020, 7:48 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

President Duterte ordered the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to complete the distribution of financial assistance to displaced overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) by Christmas.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO)

Duterte made the order during the situation briefing on the effects of typhoon “Rolly” in Malacañang Monday evening.

In his remarks, President Duterte asked Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III about the status of the distribution of the cash aid for OFWs displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I gave you so many billions to give to the workers by way of assistance,” he said.

“Natanong lang because marami ring nagtatanong dito. (I asked because a lot of people are also asking) on my end. I get to give answers to questions which are sometimes I have no knowledge of,” he added.

According to Bello, they will start paying the beneficiaries on November 15 and will complete it, at the latest, on November 20. He said that DOLE has already distributed P3.1 billion of the P5 billion allocated for the said program.

“As per our report this morning, we were already able to pay out P3.1 billion pero meron pa tayong naiwan and, hopefully, madi-distribute pa namin yun, Mr. President (but there were still some left so we hope to distribute them already),” he said.

President Duterte said he really has no complaints about the distribution of the financial assistance but said he wants it to be completed before Christmas.

“Sana dumating sa kanila para Pasko. Napakahirap ng buhay ngayon at least kung may maitulong tayo nang kaunti, ibigay na natin. (I hope it will reach them so they will have money for Christmas. Life is difficult now so let’s already distribute whatever we can). I remember giving you so many billions,” he told Bello.

“Wala naman akong masabi. (I have no complaints) except it should reach the hands of the beneficiaries by Christmas time, at least, Disyembre may panggastos ang mga tao. Yun lang naman (at least by December so the people will have money to spend. That’s it),” he added.

Bello, in response, assured the President that they will complete the distribution of the pandemic aid by November 20.

“Opo (Yes), Mr. President. We will make sure na (that) they will get their benefits at the latest, Mr. President, November 20,” he said.