Some 4,000 returning overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in Eastern Visayas displaced by the health crisis will receive cash assistance from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
These are part of the 6,153 total applications under the Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) program of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), OWWA Eastern Visayas head Sergio Borguetta Jr. said in a statement on Monday.
“These are the initially approved applications and the rest are still under assessment and evaluation of the agency,” he added.
As of Sept. 7, a total of 1,874 qualified OFWs in the region have received the PHP10,000 cash aid, some 1,200 applications are approved for release this week, and the rest are expected to be released by October or November.
“Recipients will be notified via text message once the money is ready for release in a designated remittance center,” Borguetta said.
The DOLE-AKAP is one-time cash assistance for OFWs who experienced job displacement due to coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Applicants may log in to dole-akap.owwa.gov.ph for the online submission of the application form and other required documents.
From May 25 to Sept. 7, a total of 6,548 repatriated OFWs have been transported back to their home towns in the region, based on the OWWA monitoring report.
The data also showed that 76 or 1.16 percent of these returning residents have tested positive for coronavirus.
“All of them have mild symptoms or asymptomatic, and no one was hospitalized. They were only allowed to be with their families once they obtained a negative result for Covid-19,” Borguetta said.
He said OWWA has offered free accommodation during their stay in Manila and another one-day free hotel accommodation upon their arrival here.
“It is their contribution they are practically using actually. Apart from that, they can also avail other grants and programs as OWWA members,” he added.
Eastern Visayas has so far logged a total of 3,759 Covid-19 cases since March, including 3,044 recoveries and 33 deaths, the Department of Health said. (Gerico Sabalza, PNA)