Cash aid for Covid-infected OFWs in HK hard to get, group says

A group of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Hong Kong has urged the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to review the policy in getting financial aid for those who contracted the Covid-19.

United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UFHK) chairperson Dolores Balladares-Pelaez said more than half of the OFWs who suffered Covid-19 in Hong Kong were not able to avail of COVID aid.

She said that among the 90 OFWs listed as Covid patients, only 34 are entitled to receive HK$200 in financial aid from the government.

Pelaez said most of the claimants had a problem producing medical certificates that confirms they tested positive for Covid, adding that claimants were not able to provide a medical record since they recuperated at home instead of being sent to Covid wards.

Out of a total of 90 OFWs who contracted Covid, only 43 will be receiving financial aid, according to UFHK.

Pelaez also wondered why the OWWA forwarded the funding to the Philippines while the claimants are still in Hong Kong.

"Disappointed, masama ang loob nung ating mga kababayan kasi may tulong sana silang inaasahan na makakatulong sana sa kalagayan nila (We are disappointed, and our OFWs are upset because they were expecting this financial aid)," said Pelaez in an interview with DZMM Teleradyo.

Meanwhile, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Administrator Arnell Ignacio has asked for understanding, saying the project is a money issue that needs thorough procedures before disbursing.

"We have transferred funds sa OWWA natin sa Hong Kong, ‘di naman ganoon kabilis dahil meron pa itong computation ng palitan at yung 200 dollars nila, for the 43 ay maaayos na natin (We have transferred funds to our OWWA in Hong Kong. It's not that fast; it still has to be computed. 43 of them have already been processed)," Ignacio confirmed.