DFA gives P5,000 assistance to OFWs stranded in NAIA

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Stranded OFWs line up at the NAIA Terminal 1 to get their P5,000 financial assistance.

Overseas Filipino workers who failed to leave for their jobs abroad due to last week’s runway accident at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport received financial assistance from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) through its Office of Migrant Workers Affairs.

The DFA started extending P5,000 financial assistance to affected OFWs Wednesday, August 22.

But stranded OFWs who were eventually able to leave for host countries may still avail of the assistance at Philippine embassies and consulates abroad.

In a statement, the DFA said overseas workers simply need to present their passports, original and reissued tickets, certificates of employment, and overseas employment certificates.

As for those still in the country, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola said the cash assistance will continue to be released at the NAIA three terminals until August 24 and at the DFA Home Office in Pasay until August 31.

Nearly 300 OFWs have so far already availed of the cash assistance.

Aside from the financial assistance, the DFA said its embassies and consulates general abroad are also ready to issue certifications and make representations with foreign employers if needed to explain the delay in the arrival of their Filipino employees.

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration also gave assurance that all affected OFWs will be provided the necessary assistance.

According to OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac, the agency is already “all hands on deck” as instructed by Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III.

“We have given priority to those whose visas are about to expire. We’ve come up with a list which we handed over to PAL,” he said in a television interview.

OWWA also opened their hotline to help stranded OFWs in their queries especially on their expired work visas.

“To all OFWs whose work or reentry visa expired and encountered a problem in their employment due to the NAIA flight cancellations–call OWWA hotline landline (02) 551-1560,” Cacdac said in his Twitter account @HansLeoCacdac.

At least 30,000 passengers, including OFWs, were left stranded at the NAIA after Chinese airplane Xiamen Airlines skidded off the runway and ripped off its left engine. The incident caused hundreds of flights being cancelled. 

Xiamen Airlines already issued a statement apologizing to all the passengers affected by the incident.

“Xiamen Airlines would like to express our sincere apology to all the passengers suffering form this event, and will do our best to provide assistance to the passengers,” read their statement posted on their Twitter account @XiamenAirlines.