DOLE releases guidelines for P10,000 cash relief assistance to OFWs from Libya

A March 3, 2011 press release by the Department of Labor and Employment

Promptly acting on the directive of Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz to immediately assist returning overseas Filipino workers affected by the turmoil in the Middle East, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Administrator Carmelita Dimzon has issued the guidelines for the provision of a P10,000 financial relief assistance for said OFWs.

“The financial relief assistance of P10,000 is a one-time grant to each qualified displaced OFW to help them undergo adjustments in their communities. The grant is part of the government’s repatriation assistance program for OFWs which aims to cushion the impact of employment and income displacement affecting the OFWs upon their repatriation to the country,” said Secretary Baldoz.

In availing of the financial relief assistance, the OFWs must present either their passports, travel documents, or two valid ID cards with pictures.

“The release of the financial relief assistance is only one day,” Baldoz added.

The “Guidelines for the Relief Assistance to Displaced OFWs Due to Political Conflict and Natural Calamities” specifies the simple requirements and procedures in availing of the financial relief assistance.

Earlier, the OWWA Board issued Board Resolution No. 05, series of 2011, providing for one-time financial assistance to displaced OFWs due to political conflict and natural calamities in host countries.

A budget of P100 million has been allocated for the assistance program which is now available at OWWA regional welfare offices in 17 regions.

The labor and employment chief said that for OFWs to qualify for the financial grant, they shall be required to show proof of travel from conflict-stricken countries and that their names are included in the list of repatriates maintained by the Department of Foreign Affairs, DOLE, or the OWWA.

Apart from the financial relief assistance, Baldoz said the National Reintegration Center for OFWs has readied a package of assistance that includes psycho-social counseling, skills training and upgrading, referral and placement assistance for local and overseas employment, entrepreneurial and management training, and business loan which the NRCO and the OWWA are coordinating with state financial institutions Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines.

“The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority is also offering free skills assessment to returning OFWs nationwide starting March 23,” Baldoz said.

Once successfully assessed, a worker is issued a skills certificate which makes him highly qualified for a job requiring his or her particular skill.