Over 170,000 returning migrant workers sent home

File Photo
File Photo

THE Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Sunday, August 30, 2020, said the number of returning migrant workers who have been sent home to their respective provinces by the government has exceeded 170,000.

In a report to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa) said 55,709 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were able to return home in the month of August alone.

The OFW returnees were allowed to go home after they tested negative for Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Cacdac said the government has been providing quarantine accommodation, food and other assistance to repatriated OFWs since May and has so far sent home a total of 173,088 to their destinations as of August 29.

He said Owwa arranged the transportation for their safe return to the provinces.

President Rodrigo Duterte approved the release of P5 billion under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act to Owwa in June for the repatriation and assistance to returning OFWs.

Meanwhile, the Abot-Kamay ang Pagtulong (Akap) program, which was allotted P2.5 billion under the Bayanihan 1 law, has benefited 243,326 displaced OFWs who were either still on-site or those already repatriated. A total of P2.492 billion has been disbursed so far.

More OFWs are set to benefit from DOLE’s one-time P10,000 cash aid with the release of an initial P400 million from the P1-billion additional fund for the program.

The department is looking at extending assistance to additional 100,000 OFWs under Akap.

As of August 29, 280,253 requests for assistance from both land-based and sea-based workers have been approved.

The department’s foreign offices and Owwa have received a total of 617,431 requests for assistance as of August 29. (MVI/SunStar Philippines from PR)


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