The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is now eyeing an additional P3-billion funding for its Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) for next year.
In a phone interview on Friday, International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB) Director Alice Visperas said the new funding seeks to benefit an additional 300,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFW).
The DOLE funding request came as labor officials and migration experts said they anticipate the novel coronavirus disease may displace OFWs from their jobs until next year.
Under AKAP, OFWs, whose employment were affected by Covid-19, will be given a one-time P10,000 cash aid.
DOLE already submitted the proposed additional funding to Congress during its deliberations for the 2021 national budget last week.
Visperas said they are hopeful it will be approved by lawmakers, who have expressed support for the said program.
As of October 20, 2020, DOLE was already able to use P3.082 billion to 302,198 AKAP beneficiaries.
Visperas also said DOLE will charter a flight for some 300 OFWs, who intend to fly back to China for employment.
The OFWs sought the assistance of the government to secure a flight to China after they complained that third-party agents are charging P100,000 to P200,000 each for plane tickets.
The affected OFWs are mostly teachers who went home during the Christmas holidays last year but were unable to return to China because of the pandemic.
Visperas said they are targeting to arrange the chartered flight before the end of the month.
“The OFWs will be ones shouldering their fare. We just helped them to get a good rate [for their flight],” Visperas said.
paanu poh ba maka aviel mg dole akap kc poh naka ilmg sign in npoh ako ayw mag saubmit pleaae poh help nyo.poh ako isa poh akong ofw from jorda na wlandin pong work sa loob ng limang buwn nka tambay lng poh ako don gusto ko sna maka kuha ng tulong gling poh sa dole akap pless po