MANILA: The Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) in 40 foreign posts have provided cash, food and medical assistance to 81,388 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said on Sunday.
Labor Undersecretary Claro Arellano said the OFWs received USD200 cash assistance under Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) program as well as food packs, face masks and medicines through POLO from DOLE.
Based on POLO ‘s May 29 data, 66,271 OFWs from Middle East, 9,403 from Europe and Americas, and 3,637 OFWs from Asia and the Pacific also received food and medical relief.
In Middle East, Kuwait has 28,179 OFW beneficiaries followed by Jeddah and Qatar with 9,358 and 7,723 recipients, respectively.
Meanwhile, Arellano said the 2,077 Filipino workers tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) received USD200 cash assistance from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
He said Lebanon has most number of Filipinos infected by Covid-19 with 1,104 who all received cash assistance from OWWA.
Arellano said the DOLE will continue its intensified campaign to help all OFWs affected by the economic impact of the pandemic.
DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III has pushed for the early approval in Congress of a stimulus package for workers affected by government response against Covid-19.
Under the proposed measure, PHP155 billion will be allocated for wage subsidies and “cash for work” under the DOLE-Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program.
Albay Rep. Joey Salceda and Marikina Rep. Stella Quimbo sponsored the bill.
(PNA/ Ferdinand Patinio/ SRNY/ RSP)