The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has assisted over 4.7 million Filipinos that were displaced due to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. According to a report posted on Philippine News Agency on December 27, 2021, the pandemic had hit hard economies and many of our Filipino overseas workers have been affected.
Also Read: OFW Guide: Become an OWWA Member
Luckily, there have been many Philippine government projects that has made significant progress in assisting Filipinos and foreign workers in coping with the new normal’s difficulties.
Millions of Distressed Filipinos Assisted by PH Government
DOLE Labor Secretary, Silvestre Bello III, said that the department has increased efforts to implement its three main social rehabilitation programs in order to assist unemployed workers recover from the pandemic.
4.707 million distressed formal and informal employees, including overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), have benefited from PHP 26.1 billion in assistance.
The COVID-19 Response Programs include the following:
- Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD)
- Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP)
- Abot-Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP)
TUPAD – Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers
Under TUPAD, there were roughly 1.993 million informal sector workers who were employed during an emergency employment campaign worth PHP9.62 billion.
The TUPAD is a community-based employment program that offers 10-day to 30-day stints for underemployed, unemployed, and seasonal employees.
They are paid according to the region’s prevailing minimum wage, which is then remitted through a cash remittance service provider.
COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP)
A total of 2.173 million workers from private enterprises, including those in the tourism industry and education sector, received financial aid worth PHP10.894 billion for CAMP.
PHP5,000 was paid to each employee as a one-time lump sum.
Abot-Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP)
AKAP is a one-time assistance worth PHP 10,000 given to OFWs affected by the pandemic. With a budget of PHP5.487 billion, the AKAP Program assisted a total of 540,876 OFWs who had to leave their jobs and homes due to health crisis.
Taking care of Overseas Filipino Workers
The labor government agencies of the Philippines have been working hand in hand in order to help OFWs across the globe.
As per Bello’s statement, he mentioned The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration’s (POEA) 18 One Stop Shop Service Centers provided assistance to over 759,158 OFWs around the country.
The Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) assisted 1.522 million overseas Filipino workers onsite. Currently there are over 39 POLO offices overseas.
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has repatriated 837,080 OFWs.Through its Tabang OFW and scholarships under the Emergency Subsidy Program (ESP), it also provided scholarships to OFW dependents to 95,387 beneficiaries.
Indeed, there have been a number of projects being implemented in this time of crisis that have benefitted hundreds of thousands of Filipinos. With our government at work, everything is falling into place for us to be thankful that it has created better opportunities for all of us.
Of course there is still a long way to go before we will see the real effects of this pandemic. When that time comes, let us be vigilant and appreciate all that has been given for us even in times of difficulty.