DOLE-AKAP to provide PHP 10K to OFWs displaced by COVID-19
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has announced the DOLE-AKAP assistance program that will provide one-time financial assistance of PHP 10,000 to OFWs whose employments were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Who is covered by the program?
1) Regular or documented OFWs
The DOLE-AKAP will cover regular/documented OFWs, as defined in the 2016 Revised Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Rules and Regulations. Regular or documented OFWs are those who possess a valid passport and appropriate visa or permit to stay and work in the receiving country; and whose contract of employment has been processed by the POEA or the POLO.
2) Qualified undocumented OFWs
The program also covers qualified undocumented OFWs or those who were originally regular or documented workers but for some reason or cause have thereafter lost their regular or documented status.
It also includes those who are not registered with the POEA or whose contracts were not processed by POEA or the POLO but have undertaken actions to regularize their contracts or status; or who are not registered with the POEA or whose contracts were not processed by POEA or the POLO but are active OWWA members at the time of availment.
Balik-Manggagawa who is unable to return to the host country in view of host country lockdown due to COVID-19 is also entitled to receive the PHP 10,000 assistance. OFWs who have experienced job displacement due to the receiving country’s imposition of lockdown or community quarantine or having been infected by the disease will receive the cash assistance.
4) OFWs who have experienced job displacement
OFWs who have experienced job displacement due to the receiving country’s imposition of lockdown or community quarantine or having been infected by the disease will receive the cash assistance. They must be still at overseas job sites, or in the Philippines as Balik-Manggagawa, or already repatriated to the Philippines, and must not receive any financial support/assistance from the receiving countries/employers.
5) OFWs from priority countries/territories
The Department shall provide financial assistance to qualified OFWs from countries with Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) presence and/or are heavily affected by COVID-19. These priority countries are Bahrain, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
For Asia and the Pacific, OFWs in following COVID-19-hit countries will be prioritized: Australia, Brunei, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Macau, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, and New Zealand.
For Europe and the Americas, OFWs in the following countries will be prioritized: Canada, Cyprus, Italy, Germany, Greece, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom of Great Britain, United States of America.
To apply for the cash assistance program, on-site OFWs must visit the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in their host country. For repatriated OFWs and Balik Manggagawa, they must apply in OWWA Regional Welfare Offices (RWOs).
POLOs and OWWA, as well as DOLE offices, will be posting the detailed requirements of the OFW cash assistance program.
The funds for the DOLE-AKAP, including other administrative expenses of Central and Regional operations to be incurred in the implementation of this program, shall be sourced from the DOLE COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (DOLE-CAMP) in the amount of Php1.5 Billion.