DOLE: 90,000 OFWs displaced worldwide due to coronavirus lockdowns

Aika Rey
DOLE: 90,000 OFWs displaced worldwide due to coronavirus lockdowns

Rappler.com

However, some 233,000 OFWs have applied for the one-time $200 cash aid program of the Philippine government

MANILA, Philippines – Close to 90,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have been displaced worldwide amid the lockdowns brought by the pandemic, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said.

In a statement on Sunday, April 26, DOLE said a total of 89,436 OFWs from 40 Philippine overseas labor posts around the world were either displaced or on a “no-work, no pay” scheme due to the temporary closure of businesses.

The Philippines has repatriated 20,076 Filipinos, as of April 25. The government started asking OFWs to come home from Wuhan, China, the ground zero of the coronavirus outbreak, in February.

Meanwhile, 233,015 OFWs have applied for the one-time $200 (P10,000) cash aid program of the Philippine government. The number of applications have exceeded DOLE allocations, as the current P1.5 billion budget can only accommodate 150,000 OFWs for the program. The labor department said it will request for a supplemental budget.

Some 49,040 OFWs, or 21% of the total applications, have received the financial subsidy from the Philippines. DOLE said these were processed within 10 days from the release of funds on April 9.

Of the total requests, 118,134 came from the Filipino workers staying overseas, while the rest were from those who were repatriated.

There are more than 2.3 million OFWs around the globe, as of the 2018 Philippine Statistics Authority data. – Rappler.com

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.