MORE than 30,000 college students who are dependents of repatriated, displaced and deceased overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are set to benefit from a P1-billion scholarship fund to be rolled out by the government this year.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Commission on Higher Education (Ched) and Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST) Chairman Prospero De Vera III recently signed a memorandum of agreement on the provision of educational assistance.
Dubbed as “Tabang OFW,” the program entitles one college-level dependent of a repatriated, displaced or deceased OFW to receive one-time financial assistance of P30,000, as a way to augment their education expenses.
Bello said the assistance is just among the many ways the government is reciprocating the contributions of OFWs to the country.
“We hope this will go a long way in helping our OFWs and their children in these most challenging times. By doing this, we also hope we can partly repay our modern-day heroes,” he said.
Under the agreement, the DOLE shall issue orders, circulars or guidelines that will spell out the effective and efficient implementation of the program, including the appropriate utilization of funds, adherence to the usual government accounting and auditing rules and submission of reports.
The Ched will also release the funds worth to P1 billion to DOLE for the implementation of the educational assistance program to the qualified college children dependents of the said OFWs.
UniFAST shall assist DOLE on the promotion and other information dissemination activities of the program and jointly work in crafting the guidelines, coverage and criteria in availing the subsidy under the Tabang OFW program.
To date, more than 220,000 OFWs affected by the Covid pandemic have been repatriated by the government.