OFWs affected by Covid-19 to get $200 cash aid

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The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) announced on Wednesday that cash assistance amounting to USD200 (over PHP10,000) will be provided to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) whose work were affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the government is doing its best to address the immediate needs of displaced workers and those belonging to the most vulnerable sectors during this public health emergency situation.

“Similarly, we have crafted an assistance program for our OFWs whose works were disrupted due to the Covid 19-pandemic. We are looking at about 70,000 OFWs who will be provided with (USD200) in cash assistance each,” he said in a statement.

To avail of the program, OFWs must submit their certificate of employment issued by their agencies. Their application will be evaluated and processed by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) or Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

OFWs are advised to get in touch with POLO in their host country if they are based abroad or visit the nearest (OWWA) regional office if they are currently in the Philippines.

Bello also reported that about 212,718 workers have been displaced due to the rapidly spreading Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

“Now, of the total PHP1.5 billion available assistance package of the Department, we have initially released PHP35 million to affected workers both those in the formal and informal sectors,” he added,

He noted that the agency is now fast-tracking the processing of requirements submitted by companies in order to immediately provide assistance to affected employees.

“We hope to cover at least 50 percent of those affected by next week,” Bello added.

Bello also urged employers in the private sector to apply to DOLE’s Covid-19 Adjustment Measure Program (CAMP) which offers a one-time PHP5,000 financial support to employees of companies or business establishments that have adopted flexible work arrangements or temporary closure due to the pandemic.

“To avail of the assistance, employers must submit their company payroll for February or earlier which is before the implementation of flexible working arrangements or temporary closure,” he said.

He advised establishments to download the “Establishment Report of COVID Form” in the DOLE website, specifically at https://www.dole.gov.ph/covid-19-mitigating-measures/

The form is also available in all DOLE regional offices’ websites and official Facebook pages.

Once accomplished, he said the form must be submitted through email to the DOLE regional or field office in their area.

Meanwhile, informal sector workers may avail of the DOLE’s emergency employment assistance through the TUPAD BKK program or Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers – #Barangay Ko Bahay Ko which is implemented through the barangay/local government units (LGUs).

Qualified beneficiaries will receive daily minimum wage for 10 days by disinfecting their houses and vicinities. The disinfection must be done in coordination with the local health offices for safety. Aside from the daily wage, workers will get personal accident insurance, personal protective equipment, and cleaning kit.

To avail of the assistance, LGUs must submit to the nearest DOLE field or regional offices the work program and beneficiary profile form. PNA.GOV.PH