Cash aid, repatriation offered to OFWs displaced by coronavirus pandemic: labor chief


Posted at Mar 25 2020 10:56 AM

Air passengers try to make it in time for their flights at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA - Overseas Filipino workers who lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and are still abroad are entitled to cash aid and can request for repatriation, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Wednesday.

A $200 (P10,000) assistance will be given to OFWs who are now jobless due to the pandemic, Bello told DZMM.

Filipinos abroad can also request for repatriation, although many prefer to stay in their places of work such as Rome hoping that the crisis would end soon, he said.

"Lahat ng OFW na nasa ibang bansa na nawalan ng trabaho dahil sa COVID-19 bibigyan po natin sila ng financial assistance na $200. That's P10,000," Bello said.

(OFWs in other countries who lost their jobs due to COVID-19 will be given financial assistance of $200)

"Marami sila lalo na yung nasa Rome pero ayaw naman nila umuwi. Kung gusto nila ire-repatriate namin sila," he added.

(There are many of them especially in Rome but they don't want to go back. If they want, we will repatriate them)

No OFW will be taken for granted including seafearers who were refused entry in a Cavite town Tuesday. The incident was reported to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and would be dealt with Wednesday, he said.

"Hindi po namin kayo pababayaan (We will not neglect you)," Bello said.

Bello said local governments should allow land travel for OFWs using official vehicles provided by Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.