A one-time financial assistance of Two Hundred US Dollars (US$200) or Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000), or its equivalent in the local currency of the host country, for displaced Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) has been approved. On 8 April 2020, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued Department Order No. 212, series of 2020, providing for guidelines on the provisional financial assistance for displaced landbased and seabased Filipino workers due to the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19). This social amelioration program is called “DOLE-AKAP for OFWs” (separate from the CAMP and TUPAD#BKK for Philippine-based workers). The coverage and application procedure for displaced OFWs, based on D.O. 212, are discussed below.
The DOLE-AKAP for OFWs covers both documented, undocumented and repatriated OFWs, as well as Balik-Manggagawa, provided they comply with the requirements.
A. Regular / Documented OFW, as defined in the 2016 Revised POEA Rules and Regulations, refers to those:
- i. who possess a valid passport and appropriate visa or permit to stay and work in the receiving country; and
- ii. whose contract of employment has been processed by the POEA or the POLO.
B. Qualified Undocumented OFW:
- i. who were originally regular or documented workers but for some reason or cause have thereafter lost their regular or documented status;
- ii. who are not registered with the POEA or whose contracts were not processed by POEA or the POLO, but have undertaken actions to regularize their contracts or status; or
- iii. who are not registered with the POEA or whose contracts were not processed by POEA or the POLO, but are active OWWA members at the time of availment.
C. Balik-Manggagawa who are unable to return to host country in view of host country lockdown due to COVID19.
To be eligible for the DOLE-AKAP, the recipients:
1. Must have experienced job displacement due to the receiving country’s imposition of lockdown or community quarantine or having been infected by the disease;
2. Must be still at overseas jobsites, or in the Philippines as Balik-Manggagawa, or already repatriated to the Philippines; and
3. Must not receive any financial support / assistance from the receiving countries / employers.
[Note that the OFW must have experienced “job displacement”. One of the requirements is “proof of loss of employment on account of COVID19,” which means that the financial assistance is available only if the OFW lost his/her employment or no longer has any work abroad because of COVID19. In other words, OFWs who are still employed, even if under a “no work, no pay” arrangement, are not covered.]
III. PRIORITY COUNTRIES / TERRITORIES FOR ONSITE OFWs
The DOLE shall provide financial assistance to qualified OFWs from the following countries with Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) presence and/or are heavily affected by COVID19:
Middle East and Africa
- 1. Bahrain
- 2. Israel
- 3. Jordan
- 4. Kuwait
- 5. Lebanon
- 6. Libya
- 7. Oman
- 8. Qatar
- 9. Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of
- 10. United Arab Emirates
Asia and the Pacific
- 1. Australia
- 2. Brunei
- 3. Hong Kong
- 4. Japan
- 5. Korea
- 6. Macau
- 7. Singapore
- 8. Taiwan
- 9. Malaysia
- 10. New Zealand
Europe and Americas
- 1. Canada
- 2. Cyprus
- 3. Italy
- 4. Germany
- 5. Greece
- 6. Spain
- 7. Switzerland
- 8. United Kingdom of Great Britain
- 9. United States of America
IV. APPLICATION PROCEDURE FOR ON-SITE OFWS
1. OFWs shall submit the following to the POLOs:
- a. Accomplished Application Form for Special Cash Assistance, downloadable at the POLO’s website/social media account (see also www.dole-akap.owwa.gov.ph);
- b. Copy of Passport or Travel Document;
- c. 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;
- d. Proof of loss of employment on account of COVID19; and
- e. For OFWs who became undocumented through no fault of their own, proof that the OFW is currently involved in an ongoing case (e.g., case reference number, case endorsement stamped by POLO, among others).
2. After submission of complete documents, the POLOs shall evaluate the application within 5 working days, and notify the OFW on the status of his/her application within 5 working days.
3. If the application is approved, the POLO shall release the USD200.00 through bank transfer / money remittance.
V. APPLICATION PROCEDURE FOR OFWS WHO HAVE BEEN REPATRIATED / BALIK-MANGGAGAWA
1. OFWs who have been repatriated to the Philippines and Balik-Manggagawa shall submit the following to the OWWA Regional Welfare Offices (RWOs):
- a. Accomplished Application Form for Special Cash Assistance, downloadable at the www.dole-akap.owwa.gov.ph;
- b. Copy of Passport or Travel Document;
- c. 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
- d. Proof of loss of employment on account of COVID19.
2. After submission of complete documents, the RWOs shall evaluate the application within 5 working days, and notify OFWs on the status of his/her application within 5 working days.
3. If the application is approved, the DOLE Regional Office shall release the P10,000 through money remittance / Peso Net.
[Note: For Filipino workers in the formal sector affected by the ECQ, see 5,000 Pesos Assistance for Workers under the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP)]