OWWA starts accepting applications for cash assistance to OFWs affected by COVID-19 pandemic

Marje Pelayo   •   April 15, 2020   •   6517

MANILA, Philippines – Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who are in ‘No Work, No Pay’ status may now submit their application for cash assistance.

The program is part of the national government’s response to the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

Concerned OFWs may submit their application online to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and to all Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO) abroad to avail for the program spearheaded by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) under its Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) Program.

The program covers regular OFWs, documented, undocumented and Balik-Manggagawa.

To avail, OFWs must submit the following documents:

a. Photocopy of their passport and/or travel documents;

b. Copy of flight ticket or boarding pass evidencing return to the Philippines or arrival stamp sticker attached in the passport

c. Proof of overseas employment, such as a valid OEC, residence ID, visa, reentry-visa etc.

d. Proof of loss of employment on account of the Covid-19 disease;

e. Proof of a pending case that has caused their current “undocumented status, such as case reference number, case endorsement stamped by the POLO, etc.

Once submitted, a confirmation receipt will be sent to the applicants’ email.

Meanwhile, Balik-Manggagawa or repatriated OFWs may submit the following requirements to avail for the special cash assistance:

a. Accomplished application form for special cash assistance downloadable at www.dole-akap.owwa.gov.ph website;

b. Copy of passport or travel documents;

c. Proof of overseas employment, such as valid OEC, residence ID, visa/re-entry visa, etc. and

d. Proof of loss of employment due to the Covid-19 disease.

According to DOLE, OFWs who are staying in countries affected by the COVID-19 crisis are entitled to avail.

These countries include Bahrain, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Cyprus, Italy, Germany, Greece, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, the U.S., Australia, Brunei, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Macau, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, and New Zealand.

For further inquiries, concerned OFWs may connect to OWWA official webpage OWWACares or call OWWA hotline numbers 1348. MNP (with details from Mirasol Abogadil)

DILG tells LGUs to start planning for local recovery even if COVID-19 crisis is not yet over

Robie de Guzman   •   August 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday urged local government units (LGU) to start planning and budgeting for local recovery and rehabilitation even if the threat of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is not yet over.

In a statement, DILG spokesperson Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said the DILG, with technical support of the World Bank, has developed the “Ready to Recover (We Rise as One) COVID-19 Local Recovery Planning Guide” to help the LGUs prepare and recover from the current public health crisis.

“We need to recover now kahit ‘di pa tapos ang COVID-19 crisis kasi mas lalala ang epekto nito sa ekonomiya at kabuhayan ng ating mga kababayan,” Malaya said.

“The DILG is collaborating with other national government agencies in the Interagency Task Force (IATF) to help LGUs prepare their recovery strategies and programs. The goal is to build back better,” he added.

Malaya said that with vast parts of the country now classified as low-risk, most of the country can now begin recovery efforts on the local level to protect jobs and stimulate economic activity. 

“With private consumption and investment still down, it is now up to the national and local governments to drive consumption and investment with government spending and policies that support the growth and recovery of local businesses,” he said.

The DILG spokesman said that the planning guide will simplify the recovery and rehabilitation planning to give LGUs flexibility in interventions as it has provided sample frameworks, templates, and suggested programs, projects, and activities.

“It will guide LGUs on the coordination of recovery efforts of national, regional, and local governments including the roles, responsibilities, and institutional structures,” he said.

Malaya also stated that LGUs need not create a new local body to do the local recovery planning and budgeting as this can be done through the creation of an economic cluster within the existing Local COVID-19 Task Force headed by a mayor or governor.

In financing the local recovery from the pandemic, Malaya said that the DILG has identified at least indicative fund source options based on existing government guidelines that can be tapped by LGUs to help address the challenges of fund availability.

He said these options include national government programs and financing assistance programs of select government financial institutions (GFIs) and government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs).

Other possible sources are the Local Government Support Fund – Financial Assistance to LGUs (LGSF – FA), LGSF –Assistance to Municipalities, Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) Incentive Fund, Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan- Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services – National Community-Driven Development Program (KALAHI-CIDSS NCDDP), Regular Agency Budget, and the 20% Development Fund (DF), he noted.

“Hindi kayo basta iiwan na lang ng nasyunal na gobyerno. We will monitor your local recovery programs and projects and assess your progress to ensure you stay on track and achieve your intended results,” Malaya said.

OFW in Beirut calls for gov’t help after massive blast; 2 Filipinos reported dead

Marje Pelayo   •   August 5, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Traumatized by the recent twin explosions in Beirut, Lebanon, overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Glenda Viloria Padilla is calling on the Philippine government for help as she wants to return to her hometown as soon as possible. 

Padilla was able to capture through video recording the impact of the said explosion. 

“Sobrang lakas po halos lahat ng buong Beirut po yata nawasak (The explosion was so massive it practically tore down the entire Beirut),” Padilla said who is a native of La Union.

“Sa pangyayari po gusto na po naming umuwi kasi hindi na safe kasi mahirap na po (after what happened, we really want to leave and return home because it’s not safe here anymore),” she added.

She also shared some images of the damage the blast caused to her employer’s home.

Reports said two Filipinos died from the incident and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is closely coordinating with the Philippine Embassy in Beirut for updates.

The Embassy earlier issued an advisory calling affected Filipinos in the area to reach out to Embassy officials for assistance. MNP (with inputs from Toto Fabros)

#PAKIUSAPTumawag lamang sa mga sumusunod na numero

Posted by Philippine Embassy in Lebanon on Tuesday, 4 August 2020
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OFW groups satisfied with President’s SONA

Maris Federez   •   July 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Several groups of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) have expressed their gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte on his State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Around 300 Filipinos representing several groups of OFWs from different countries met online and simultaneously watched the President’s SONA.

They said the chief executive did not let them down as he urged Congress “to pass a law establishing the Department of Overseas Filipino solely on addressing the concerns of Filipinos abroad and their families.”

Last March, the lower House passed the creation of the Department of Filipino Overseas and Foreign Deployment. The Senate, on the other hand, is still hearing the bill.

In his SONA, the President reiterated his commitment of support to OFWs.

He called on the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and other agencies to allocate trainings and programs for OFWs.

With this, the United Filipino Global International thanked the president for his concern over them.

“The SONA speech of the president, I think we are very happy kasi alam naman po namin ang kaniyang intention. Ang kaniyang speech ay para talaga tumulong nang totoo na walang halong pamumulitiko,” said Gemma Sotto, chairperson of United Filipino Global International. — (from the report of Asher Cadapan, Jr.) /mbmf

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