Some of the returning Oversees Filipino Workers (OFW) in Palawan. // Image courtesy of PIO Palawan official Facebook page.


The local office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said the financial assistance promised to returning overseas workers in the country is still being processed for applications that were submitted beyond the middle week of May.

Palawan chief labor and employment officer Luis Evangelista said that the Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) program of DOLE has processed the applications submitted to them until the middle week of May, while those they have received beyond the period are still pending.

However, Evangelista believed that the fund allocation will also be released for pending applications.

“Sila ay kasama kaya lang based sa huli ko na-receive na email from OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) sa Mindoro, ang pina-process pa lang na application, yong na-process pa lang na applications ay hanggang mid-May, yong applications beyond that ay wala pa until such time na may ma-release na panibagong pondo,” he said.

“I think dito sa OFW ay may mailalabas na pondo, hintay-hintay lang,” Evangelista added.

OWWA is accepting the applications of displaced land-based and sea-based Filipino workers due to the coronavirus diseases (COVID-19) for the DOLE-AKAP financial assistance.

Beneficiaries under the financial assistance would receive P10,000 emergency cash from the DOLE.

Evangelista said that he has no figure yet of Palaweño OFWs who applied for the program as the applications were directly sent to the OWWA office.

“Wala ako figure kasi doon na sila dumidiretso pero minsan ay may naliligaw sa amin sa email na sa amin nagfa-follow up, pino-forward na lang namin,” he said.

Aside from AKAP, Evangelista said that displaced OFWs may also request for certification as proof of unemployment to be presented to Social Security System (SSS) to avail unemployment insurance.

“At the same time naman, aside from AKAP, they can also request sa amin ng certificate para makapag-apply din sila kay SSS kung sila ay diretso ang kanilang paghuhulog kay SSS before,” he said.