Retrenched OFWs to receive cash aid - GulfToday

Retrenched OFWs to receive cash aid


Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

 Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

The Philippine Overseas Labour Office in Dubai (POLODXB) will come up with an online system for the submission of documents required for the one-time Php10,000.00 ($200.00 or Dhs734.61) monetary assistance to all laid off overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah due to the pandemic.

“The submission of documents for evaluation will be done online in observance of the UAE government’s call to residents to stay at home and observe social distancing to ensure public health and safety,” WhatsApped Labor Attache in Dubai and the Northern Emirates Felicitas Bay on Thursday afternoon.

That was after Gulf Today obtained a copy of the official press release from Manila’s Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) website regarding the mechanics and procedure on the cash aid.

The mechanics-submission of the accomplished downloadable cash aid form (from the websites of each of the 34 POLOS worldwide), photocopy of Philippine passport/travel documents, proof of overseas employment such as the valid Emirates ID card, residence ID, visa, re-entry visa, proof of loss of employment due to pandemic, and proof of a pending case that have caused their undocumented status-shall be uploaded over the POLODXB website.

News on this “ayuda” spread like wildfire with Filipinos in the UAE re-posting and re-circulating after it went viral on March 25.

Passed on to this reporter that day was a re-post of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration press release. Bay said POLODXB trunklines, emails and even staff mobile phones had been swamped with enquiries since.

Filipinos-at least in Dubai and Sharjah-were hopeful all would be entitled.

However, the Thursday official press release, quoting DoLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III states: “Overseas workers, both land-based and sea-based, who have been displaced by a lockdown in a foreign country will be given (the financial assistance) under the (DoLE’s) AKAP program.”

AKAP stands for “Abot Kamay ay Pagtulong” and loosely translated as “Help Within Hands’ Reach.”

Bello described the assistance as “generous” since included are the undocumented OFWs “as long as they have undertaken actions towards regularization or they are active (paying) members of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.”

The “ayuda” was made possible with the approval by President Duterte of the Php1.5 billion (Dhs109,044,698.70) budget to address the needs of the retrenched OFWs.

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