P10,000 Grant for OFWs Affected by COVID-19 Pandemic in 29 Countries

A one-time financial assistance of P10,000 will be granted to overseas Filipino workers whose employments were affected by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

“The Department of Labor and Employment has already prepared the guidelines of the DOLE-AKAP assistance program for OFWs to ensure its effective and streamlined implementation,” Secretary Silvestre Bello III said.

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,” Bello said.

The assistance program, Bello added, 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.

“Also included in the program are 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,” Bello said.

A 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 10 thousand pesos assistance.

Bello further said 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,” Bello clarified.

Further, OFWs coming from priority countries/territories will be given financial assistance.

“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,” Bello said
These priority countries are

Middle East

  1. Bahrain
  2. Israel
  3. Jordan
  4. Kuwait
  5. Lebanon
  6. Libya
  7. Oman
  8. Qatar
  9. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  10. United Arab Emirates

Asia-Pacific

  1. Australia
  2. Brunei
  3. Hong Kong
  4. Japan
  5. Korea
  6. Macau
  7. Singapore
  8. Taiwan
  9. Malaysia
  10. New Zealand

Europe and the Americas

  1. Canada
  2. Cyprus
  3. Italy
  4. Germany
  5. Greece
  6. Spain
  7. Switzerland
  8. United Kingdom of Great Britain
  9. 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.

Bello said 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 DOLE COVID19 Adjustment Measures Program (DOLE-CAMP) in the amount of Php1.5 Billion.

Who Are Eligible?

This one-time P10,000 cash assistance is intended for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), Balik Manggagawa, and qualified undocumented OFWs who have been displaced from their employment due to:

Imposition of lockdown or community quarantine either by the country of employment or in the Philippines
Repatriation due to infection or suspected to be infected with COVID-19.
Suspension of work, currently stranded at job sites and/or experience no work, no pay as a consequence of the COVID-19 health pandemic.
Repatriation back in the Philippines since February 3, 2020
Termination of employment or closure of companies due to the COVID-19 health pandemic.

How to Apply Online

1. Visit the website https://dole-akap.owwa.gov.ph/ on your Internet browser.

  • Upload a clear copy of the following requirements
  • Passport page with a) personal information and b) stamp of latest arrival in the Philippines
  • Copy of flight ticket or boarding pass of flight to the Philippines or stamp/sticker attached to the passport
  • Proof of overseas employment (employment contract/OEC/visa or permit to stay in the country of employment
  • Proof of loss of employment (notice of employment termination, closure of company-issued by the employer, incident report on the termination of employment to the closest POLO or Philippine Embassy/Consulate)

2. Click the submit button.

3. Receive a system-generated confirmation indicating successful submission of application.

4. Approved applications will be endorsed to the DOLE Regional Office for the release of assistance through money transfer channel.

For inquiries, please refer to a DOLE regional/provincial office near you.

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