OFWs to Be Given Cash Assistance by DOLE — Here Are the Guidelines

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has declared that it will be providing cash assistance to disenfranchised overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The program, called DOLE-AKAP, will provide to these OFWs USD200 or PHP10,000 or it’s equivalent to the local currency wherever the OFW is staying to help them get by during the public health crisis.

DOLE has released guidelines for these OFWs seeking assistance which we summarized below.

OFWs covered by this Department Order are:

  • regular/documented OFWs (those with valid passports, work permits, and whose contract of employment was processed by the POEA or POLO);
  • qualified undocumented OFWs (those who were once regular/documented OFWs but lost their status, those unregistered or with unprocessed work permits with POEA or POLO but have either taken actions to regularize their contracts/status OR are active OWWA members);
  • and Balik-Manggagawa who are unable to return home from the host country due to the lockdown.

To be eligible for the DOLE-AKAP financial assistance, they must:

  • have been displaced from their jobs due to their host country’s lockdown or community quarantine;
  • still be at their overseas job sites, or already in the Philippines as Balik-Manggagawa, or already repatriated to the Philippines;
  • and not have received any financial support or assistance from receiving countries or their employers.

OFWs from the following countries with POLO presence and/or are heavily affected by COVID-19 will be prioritized.

  • Middle East and Africa: Bahrain, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates
  • Europe and the Americas: Canada, Cyprus, Italy, Germany, Greece, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom of Great Britain, United States of America
  • Asia and the Pacific: Australia, Brunei, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Macau, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, New Zealand

How to Apply

OFWs must submit the following to their POLOs:

  • accomplished application form for special cash assistance
  • copy of passport or travel document
  • proof of overseas employment
  • proof of loss of employment due to COVID-19
  • For undocumented OFWs: proof that it was not their fault and is currently involved in an ongoing case (like case reference number or case endorsement stamp by POLO)

POLO will evaluate the application within 5 working days, and will update the OFW with the status of his or her application within 5 working days.

Cash assistance of USD 200 will be given by POLO via bank transfer or money remittance once approved.

For those already repatriated to the Philippines or are Balik-Manggagawa, the following documents are needed:

  • accomplished application form for special cash assistance
  • copy of passport or travel document
  • proof of overseas employment
  • proof of loss of employment due to COVID-19

POLO will evaluate the application within 5 working days, and will update the OFW with the status of his or her application within 5 working days.

Cash assistance of PHP 10,000 will be given by the concerned DOLE regional office via money remittance or Peso Net once approved.

(ALSO READ: DOLE to Provide ‘Emergency Employment’ and Cash Aid to Affected Workers)

Read the full Department Order No. 212 here.


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