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OWWA opens online cash aid application for displaced OFWs

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The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said on April 13, 2020, it is now accepting online applications from displaced overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) due to coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) under the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) program.

In an advisory, the OWWA said based on the guidelines issued by the DOLE, regular/documented, undocumented and Balik-Manggagawa Filipinos are qualified to avail financial assistance worth USD200 (around PHP10,000).

“As we observe stringent social distancing measures, all submission of applications for “DOLE-AKAP FOR OFWs” are to be done through online,” it added.

The documented workers are those who possess a valid passport and appropriate visa or permit to stay and work in the receiving country and whose contract of employment has been processed by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) or the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO).

On the other hand, undocumented workers are classified as Filipinos who were originally regular or documented workers but for some reasons have thereafter lost their regular or documented status; who are not registered with the POEA or whose contract were not processed by POEA or the POLO, but have undertaken actions to regularize tenor contracts or status; or who are not registered with the POEA or whose contract were not processed by POEA or POLO, but are active OWWA members at the time of availing of the grant.

The Balik-Manggagawa are those unable to return to the host country in view of the host country lockdown due to Covid-19.

At the same time, the agency said OFWs who have been repatriated to the Philippines and Balik-Manggagawa are instructed to apply online.

They may follow these steps:

1. On your browser, type http://dole-akap.owwa.gov.ph and provide all required information and click the “NEXT” button.

2. Upload the following requirements on the specified button:

a. Copy of passport or travel document,

b. Copy of flight ticket or boarding pass evidencing return to the Philippines or arrival stamp sticker attached in the passport:

c. Proof of overseas employment is valid verified overseas employment, OEC, residence IDs, visa/re-entry visa, among others or permit to stay in the receiving country, and

d. Proof of loss of employment on account of Covid-19 or proof that the host country/ies are included in the list of those heavily affected by the Covid-19 (i.e. notice of termination of employment or closure of the company issued by the Foreign Recruitment Agency or principal employer, incident report on the termination of employment submitted by the employer to the POLO concerned, Philippine Embassy/Consulate/POLO/OWWA certification/referral of displacement due to Covid-19, among others.)

e. For qualified undocumented workers — proof that he/she and the employer have undertaken the necessary documentation to regularize her stay in the host country such as copies of employment contract, payslip, work visa, or other proof of employment.

f. Upon uploading necessary requirements, click the “SUBMIT” button where a confirmation prompt will appear. In addition, a system-generated confirmation receipt will be sent to your email.

3. The concerned OWWA Regional Office through its OWWA officers will conduct validation/evaluation of received applications with complete documentary requirements, and approve/deny the application, whichever is applicable.

During validation or verification of documents submitted, our OWWA officers may call you through the provided contact details or FB account. Please cooperate and be ready to show the actual documents, ID so required

4. Once approved, documents will be submitted to the concerned DOLE Regional Office for funding through money transfer or PESO Net, within five working days upon approval.

Meanwhile, the OWWA directed OFWs that are on-site, to get in touch with the nearest POLO to avail of the said program.

For more information, OFWs are advised to visit. facebook.com/OWWAcares or call OWWA Hotline 1348. (Ferdinand Patinio, PNA)

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