Over half of 600,000 cash aid applications from repatriated OFWs approved — PH labour official

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(LOGO: dole.gov.ph)

Out of the 600,000 repatriated Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who applied for the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) program, 362,000 were already approved but others have been denied due to several reasons.

In an interview with Hong Kong News Tuesday, Philippine Labor Undersecretary Renato Ebarle said 322,409 of the applicants have already received the one-time cash aid amounting to P10,000. This was taken from the P3.5 billion allocation under the first tranche of the anti-epidemic fund approved by the Duterte government.

Ebarle said designated individuals at the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices will be in charge of cash assistance to the beneficiaries.

The labour official, however, clarified that there were no delays in the process. 

“Probably others thought that when they applied for it na automatic ‘yung approval. Mayroon kasing criteria kung sino ‘yung mag-be-benefit from it. Walang delays. In fact, pinagpurihan ng DOLE ang mabilis at walang halos pahinga na pag-a-assist namin,” he said.

Ebarle added the cash aid to be granted to the remaining OFWs will come from the P2-billion allocation under the second tranche of the anti-epidemic fund approved by the Duterte government. 

“We are also in the process of paying another 200,000 OFWs whose applications have already been approved,” he said.

He added that DOLE is anticipating that there will be an increase of applicants for AKAP since more arrivals of OFWs are also expected by December.