The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) recently reported that some 35,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who are in the country have availed of the cash assistance of USD200 (PHP10,000) under the Department of Labor and Employment-Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (DOLE-AKAP) program.
OWWA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said these include applications of both land-based and sea-based OFWs.
“For now, we have approved close to 35,000 applications. Of this number, 50 percent is land-based OFWs and 50 percent is sea-based OFWs. I am pointing this out because many seafarers say they are at a disadvantage on this program. But they should not worry because the distribution is fair, it’s 50-50,” Cacdac said during a Laging Handa briefing on May 1, 2020.
The OWWA chief added that they plan to provide this aid to 50,000 OFWs, which is only about 30 percent of the total target beneficiaries.
The remainder are for those Filipinos currently working abroad.
“In overseas posts, 70 percent of the DOLE-AKAP (fund) will be distributed. The remaining percent is here in the Philippines. We now have 35,000 approved applicants and we are approaching the target of 50,000 OFWs,” Cacdac said.
Under the program, the beneficiaries, who were affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, are getting a one-time cash assistance amounting to PHP10,000 or USD200.
He also reported that it has assisted some 20,000 OFWs, stranded in the country due to the deadly virus.
“We have provided transportation, food, and accommodation assistance to some 20,000 OFWs,” he said. (PNA)