OFWs displaced by COVID-19 pandemic to get one-time ₱10,000 cash aid

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 8) — Overseas Filipino workers displaced in foreign countries on lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic will receive one-time financial assistance worth ₱10,000, the Department of Labor and Employment said.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the release of a ₱1.5-billion fund to the department for the financial support of displaced OFWs.

“This assistance program is good until the available funds are used up,” Bello said.

Land-based and sea-based workers will be given the cash assistance amounting to $200, or the equivalent amount in their host countries, through DOLE's Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) program.

Bello said the program will cover both documented and undocumented workers, provided they have undertaken actions to regularize their contracts, or are members of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), an attached agency of DOLE.

OFWs infected with the disease are also eligible for AKAP as long as they have not received any form of financial assistance from their host government or foreign employers yet.

To avail of the program, OFWs must submit to their respective Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) an accomplished application form for the special cash assistance downloadable from the website or social media account of their POLO.

They must also submit a photocopy of passport and/or travel documents such as residence ID or visa, proof of overseas employment, proof of loss of employment on account of the virus, and proof of a pending case that caused their current undocumented status such as case reference number and case endorsement stamped by the POLO.