MANILA, Philippines – Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) now have ways to stay updated on the services and offers of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) through a mobile application.
According to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, the DOLE mobile app will provide Filipino workers across the globe with the latest news and regulations as well as keep them informed of their rights and benefits at work.
It will also provide them immediate access to the labor departments’ hotline numbers, and contact details of labor offices in their host countries especially during emergencies.
The DOLE mobile app is free to downloaded from the Google Play Store for Android devices and the App Store for Apple devices.
“This application is intended to provide a major channel for our workers and OFWs to get in touch with DOLE and the POLO ( Philippine Overseas Labor Office),” Bello said.
“Through the use of modern technology, they can relay their labor related concerns and complaints,” he concluded.
MANILA, Philippines – Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvester Bello III on Wednesday said that the remains of overseas Filipino workers who died in Saudi Arabia will be brought home in batches starting Friday.
Bello said the first batch will be comprised of 44 bodies of deceased OFWs – 19 of whom succumbed to novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while the others died of various causes.
The remains will arrive at the Villamor Airbase via a chartered flight on July 10.
Bello said those who died from COVID-19 will be immediately brought to a crematorium for cremation. Their ashes will then be turned over to their families.
For OFWs who died of natural causes, the labor chief said that their remains may be claimed by their relatives or sent to their respective provinces.
The second batch of OFW remains will arrive on Sunday. A total of 274 remains of OFWs will be flown home from Saudi Arabia.
Bello said the bodies will be repatriated in batches because they cannot bring them home all at once due to stringent protocols and requirements.
“Unahin muna natin yung nakumpleto ang papeles kasi ang hirap ng mga papeles dito. Meron from the Ministry of Labor, meron Ministry of Foreign Affairs nila, ospital kung saan galing yung labi. Ang pinakamahirap yung consent ng employer ang ating mga kababayan,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) assured it will extend aid to the families of deceased workers.
OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said the families of both active and inactive members of the agency will receive financial assistance.
“Bereavement financial assistance at a minimum for inactive OWWA members and then there is an additional death and burial benefit for the active OWWA member in addition to other related benefits like livelihood. But there will be a minimun financial basic assistance for all,” Cacdac said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Mon Jocson/Jaycel Valera)
MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker is pushing for the granting of military honors to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who succumbed to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) abroad as they can be considered as ‘modern-day heroes.’
Senior Citizen Party-list Rep. Francisco Datol Jr. in House Resolution No. 1027 said the sacrifices of OFWs and their significant contribution to the country’s economy are enough to merit them such military honors.
Based on the latest count of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), a total of 577 OFWs have already died of COVID-19 from the overall number of 8,679 confirmed cases across the globe.
Datol said OFWs are qualified under The Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines for their unconditional sacrifices as overseas workers.
The lawmaker also proposed that the government shoulder the complete burial expenses of every OFW who died of COVID-19 abroad as part of the full military honors.
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is seeking to get additional budget for its cash assistance program for the growing number of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) affected by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
DOLE said that as of July 4, its overseas offices and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) have recorded a total of 551,606 aid applications from land-based and sea-based workers who are either still in host countries or have already returned to the Philippines.
“The fund released to us is fast depleting. So far, our offices approved the requests of 224,756 OFWs, 128,348 of whom are still locked down or stranded in their countries of work,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in a statement.
The agency had been given P2.5 billion in two tranches to finance its Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) program, a one-time cash aid of $200 or P10,000 to help Filipino workers displaced by the pandemic. The budget for the program came from the emergency fund under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
Of the 250,000 expected beneficiaries of the program, around 188,473 have already received the cash aid from DOLE as of July 4 amounting to some P1.927 billion, DOLE said.
Of those who have received the aid, 105,756 are on-site while the remaining beneficiaries have returned to the country, it added.
With additional funding, AKAP will be able to extend emergency assistance to close to half a million OFWs, Bello said.
Bello hopes that President Rodrigo Duterte will grant their request to extend help to more OFWs in need.
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