MANILA – With the passage of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2), the government is looking to provide cash assistance to some 200,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
“In the Bayanihan 2, the good news is the DOLE-AKAP (Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong) was given PHP2 billion. We are very thankful to Congress and to our beloved President (Rodrigo Duterte) for the Bayanihan 2 because there will be a new round of distribution for at least 200,000 DOLE-AKAP beneficiaries,” Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said in a Laging Handa briefing on Wednesday.
Cacdac added that under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (Bayanihan 1), some 260,000 OFWs benefitted from the program.
Under AKAP, OFWs both on-site and those stranded in the country have been provided a one-time PHP10,000 or USD200 cash aid.
“Since April, around 260,000 OFWs displaced due to the Covid-19 crisis benefited from the AKAP program by the DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) under Secretary Silvestre Bello III from the Bayanihan 1,” he added.
Meanwhile, Bello said they will start the implementation of the recovery plan under the Bayanihan 2 at the soonest possible time.
“As soon as possible we have now actually…we are on our knees to jumpstart all our activities,” he said during the launching of the agency’s virtual media presser ‘V-Café@DOLE’.
Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11494 or the Bayanihan 2 which provides for a PHP165.5-billion fund to finance the country’s response and recovery interventions intended to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Ferdinand Patinio / PNA – northboundasia.com