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.
The Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Dubai (POLODXB) has released a total of $120,800.00 (Php6,123,352.00/Dhs440,920.00) to 604 retrenched/no work-no pay status overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, part of Manila’s Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) one-time Php10,000.00 ($200.00/Dhs730.00) cash aid amidst the pandemic.
Philippine Ambassador to the UAE Hjayceelyn Quintana on Wednesday evening said Manila will participate in the Expo 2020 Dubai and its pavilion will be reflective of who the Filipino is not only in these modern times but through the ages and beyond.
The Philippine Consulate General (PCGDXB), in collaboration with sports enthusiasts and in its efforts to continually cement camaraderie among the 400,000 Filipinos in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, is staging a Philippine inter-city basketball tournament from Aug. 9 to Sept. 20.
Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of the Sharjah Media Council (SMC) Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, on Wednesday inaugurated the 21st edition of the Sharjah International Narrator Forum (SINF).
Mrs Pillay’s husband, Mahesh, bought the winning ticket under her name and split the ticket cost with his 10 Indian, 1 Lebanese and 1 Filipino colleagues from Rais Hassan Saadi, a shipping and freight company in Dubai.
The health ministry stressed in a statement on Wednesday its aim to continue expanding the scope of testing nationwide to facilitate the early detection of coronavirus cases and carry out the necessary treatment.