overseas Filipinos

7,950 more OFWs in Dubai to get coronavirus aid from DOLE

Jojo Dass
7,950 more OFWs in Dubai to get coronavirus aid from DOLE

PH LABOR OFFICE. The Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Dubai, UAE.

Screenshot of POLO-Dubai video

So far, 14,050 displaced Filipino workers in the UAE have received aid under the Philippine labor department's AKAP program

A total of 7,950 Filipino workers in Dubai and the neighboring northern emirates who have applied for the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) one-time financial aid will get what’s so far left of the fund allocated for the program.

Data obtained from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Dubai (POLO-Dubai) showed that 14,050 applicants from the UAE have received the money under DOLE’s Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) program, which has funding for 22,000 qualified OFWs only.

The data, contained in a July 16 POLO-Dubai report submitted to DOLE, showed that a total of 19,802 applications have been approved.

The AKAP program provides AED730 (P10,000) in financial assistance to successful applicants. The total amount disbursed so far is $2.81 million (AED10.256 million), according to the POLO-Dubai report.

POLO-Dubai received 92,532 applications received since AKAP was rolled out in Dubai and the northern emirates a few months back. Of this number, 41,964 have been evaluated, according to the report.

Labor Attaché Felicitas Bay of POLO-Dubai said that the initial AKAP allocation for Dubai and the neighboring northern emirates was for 7,000 OFWs. Additional funding was later given for 10,000 more, and then for 5,000 more OFWs, for a total of 22,000 recipients.

Bay also said that all hands are on deck at POLO-Dubai, which has 10 staff members attending to other functions.

“Aside from AKAP, we have our regular functions, among them labor and welfare cases, center management, verification of contracts (for matters concerning issuance of Overseas Employment Certificates [OECs]),” Bay said.

Bay also said that among the AKAP recipients, 38 had tested positive for COVID-19. She said all of them have already recovered from the disease.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has said there are around 400,000 documented OFWs in Dubai alone. The neighboring northern emirates of Shajah, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah and Ajman host around 25,000 OFWs, officials said.

Aside from the UAE, some of the other priority countries under the program are Bahrain, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.– Rappler.com