OFWs in U.S. and Caribbean get $200 pandemic aid from PH
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Each of the 2,225 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the United States and the Caribbean Islands whose applications were approved received $200 in financial aid, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office-Washington DC (POLO-WDC) announced.
The assistance was given under the DOLE AKAP program to OFWs in the United States and the Caribbean Islands whose employment and livelihood have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
POLO-WDC acknowledged, however, that the wide coverage of its jurisdiction, travel restrictions, and bank limitations/policies on wire transfers delayed the remittance and disbursement of the funds.
“We have received several complaints about the delays in the release of the funds and we are grateful for the comments and suggestions that were sent our way. Rest assured, we shall continue to implement the program, taking note of all our accounting and auditing procedures as well as the host countries’”, said Labor Attaché Angela Trinidad.
POLO-WDC turned to the Philippine Honorary Consuls and Filipino community leaders in the Caribbean Islands to facilitate the distribution of the financial assistance packages to the beneficiaries in compliance with the social distancing rules in their respective host countries.
“From the latter part of May to the latter part of June, POLO-WDC has explored all cost-effective means possible to fast track the distribution of funds to our workers. By the first week of June, POLO-WDC was already prohibited from performing bank transfers compelling it to seek authority from our Manila office to distribute funds through our Filipino community and association leaders,” Labor Attaché Trinidad explained.
For their unconditional and efficient assistance in distributing the funds, Labor Attaché Trinidad recognized and expressed appreciation to Honorary Consuls Glicerio “Eli” DM Arago of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Eric Whipps of Palau, and Filipino community leaders Narita Longno (Bermuda), Florenda Russel-Smith and Jennifer Panganiban (British Virgin Islands), Arturo Ursua (Cayman), Florita Viterbo and Chris Burgos (Bahamas), Alan Tulalian (Trinidad and Tobago), Alfonso Palatino (Turks and Caicos Islands) and Laarni Raebel (Jamaica).