20K OFWs to get AKAP cash aid next week: OWWA
By Ferdinand Patinio
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) – Some 20,000 displaced and stranded overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who have applied for the Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) program of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) are set to get their cash aid next week, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said on Friday.
In a Laging Handa briefing, Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac reported that they will be releasing next week the payment for the recipients of the 3rd tranche from the government.
At the same time, he said over 320,000 Filipinos overseas and those who returned to the country have benefited from the one-time cash assistance.
“So far, there are 325,000 that have been given the cash aid and we are currently wrapping up with about maybe 20,000 more this coming week or the 3rd tranche we got from the national government,” Cacdac added.
He said they will continue to approve applications until the end of the year since they have been given additional allocation under Bayanihan 2, or the Bayanihan to Recover as One.
“There’s a 4th tranche Bayanihan 2 that we will be getting and we will roll it out which means from now until the end of December we will have a payout and we will approve DOLE-AKAP applications,” Cacdac added.
Under the program, the OFW-beneficiary will receive a one-time cash aid amounting to PHP10,000 or $200 cash assistance.
Covered by the program are OFWs repatriated and stranded in the country due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Meanwhile, the OWWA chief also reported that more than 300,000 returning OFWs have been transported back to their home provinces.
“At the beginning of today (Friday), 302,000 OFWs since May are now with their families in their home provinces or regions,” he said.
Cacdac added that they are expecting at least 70,000 or more to come home before the end of the year.
“We are expecting maybe around 70,000-80,000 more till the end of the year of course the figure is variable since its Christmas season, where many of our fellowmen go back to the country,” he said.
The government has been transporting repatriated OFWs through air, sea and land back to their respective provinces. (PNA)