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Filipinos in Sabah entitled to aid by their govt
Published on: Monday, April 13, 2020
By: Nikko Fabian
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Filipinos in Sabah entitled to aid by their govt
File photo from Bernama.
Kota Kinabalu: Filipinos in Sabah welcomed the cash assistance programme extended to all eligible Filipinos affected by the coronavirus outbreak in Malaysia.

 They said the announcement by Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III was timely following Malaysia’s decision on Friday to extend the period of the Movement Control Order (MCO) by another 14 days (April 15 to 28).

 Bello said DOLE has released guidelines for disenfranchised overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who are eligible for its cash assistance programmes.

 Dubbed the DOLE-AKAP, he said the programme involves giving $200 or P10,000 or RM853.31 to help the workers get by during the crisis.

 “The cash assistance covers regular and documented OFWs, certain undocumented OFWs and balik-manggagawa or OFWs who could not return to their host country because of the Philippines’ ongoing lockdown,” the Labour Secretary explained.

 To prove that one is regular and documented, Bello said OFWs must have a valid passport and appropriate visa or permit to stay and work in the receiving country.

 The OFW’s contract should have been processed by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration or the corresponding Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), he said.

 Undocumented OFWs covered by the programme include OFWs who were once documented but “for some reason or cause” have lost their documented status; undocumented OFWs who have undertaken actions to regularise their contracts or status; and undocumented OFWs who are Overseas Workers Welfare Administration members.

 The memorandum gave three criteria that the OFW must meet to become eligible, namely:

 The OFW must have experienced job displacement due to the receiving country’s lockdown or quarantine, or because of infection of coronavirus.

The OFW should have presence in overseas jobsites, or in the Philippines as balik-manggagawa, or already repatriated in the Philippines.

The OFW must not receive any financial support or assistance from receiving countries or employers.

 Bello said OFWs need to submit the following to their POLOs:

l Application form for special cash assistance from POLOs

l Copy of passport or travel document

l Proof of overseas employment

l Proof of loss of employment due to the coronavirus outbreak

l For the undocumented: Proof that the OFW is involved in a case like case reference number or case endorsement stamped by POLO

l The POLOs will evaluate the documents within 5 working days and the applying OFW will be updated within 5 working days.

 If approved, the OFW will receive the money through bank transfer or cash remittance.

 For the balik-manggagawa, Bello added the documents needed are:

l Application form for special cash assistance

l Copy of passport or travel document

l Proof of overseas employment

l Proof of loss of employment

 The same process of evaluation and transfer applies for the balik-manggagawa applicants, he said.

 





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