ZAMBOANGA CITY — Land-based and Sea-based Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic may still apply for financial assistance from the Department of Labor and Employment IX (DOLE 9) and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA 9) under Abot Kamay Ang Pagtulong ( AKAP) Program.
Regional Director Atty. Roy L. Buenafe said that OWWA 9 is still accepting online applications via its website.
“Our processing for AKAP is still ongoing. So far for region 9, there are 1,900 that have been given the cash aid and we are still expecting more this coming week,” Dir. Buenafe shared.
He said they will continue to approve applications until the end of the year since they have been given additional allocation under Bayanihan 2, or the Bayanihan to Recover as One.
The program covers regular or documented OFWs with valid passport and appropriate visa or permit to stay and work in the receiving country, qualified undocumented OFWs who were originally regular or documented workers but for some reason or cause have thereafter lost their regular or documented status; and Balik-Manggagawa who are unable to return to their host country in view of host country lockdown due to COVID19.
If an OFW falls under any of the categories mentioned, they may apply online and upload the following documents:
- Copy of Passport or Travel Document;
- Copy of flight ticket or boarding pass evidencing return to the Philippines or arrival stamp/sticker attached in the Passport;
- Proof of overseas employment i.e. valid verified overseas employment, OEC, residence I.D.s, visa/re-entry visa, among others or permit to stay in the receiving country; and
- Proof of loss of employment on account of COVID19 or proof that the host country/ies are included in the list of those heavily affected by the COVID-19.
Director Buenafe also said that in line with the safety protocols, payouts are done with partner financial institution M Lhuillier to avoid queuing and reduce person to person contact.
Interested applicants may access submit applications thru https://dole-akap.owwa.gov.ph/.