MANILA – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Wednesday announced that some Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) have suspended the acceptance of cash assistance applications due to lack of funds.
“The Department of Labor and Employment wishes to inform our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) that some of our Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) have already suspended the acceptance of DOLE-AKAP applications for on-site OFWs. Said POLOs had exceeded their respective allocations,” the agency said in an advisory.
The program has only a budget of over PHP1 billion for the grant of cash assistance amounting to USD200 per worker.
“The Department has a budget of P1.5 billion for AKAP OFW assistance sourced from the Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP). With said limited budget, only 150,000 OFWs out of the million Filipinos overseas can be accommodated under the assistance program,” it added.
Among those that ceased from receiving applications is the POLO in Kuwait which took effect on Wednesday.
In an advisory, Labor Attaché Nasser Mustafa reported that they received 12,753 applications from displaced Filipino workers, as of Monday.
“POLO-Kuwait has only a total allocation of 10,000 OFWs to avail this program. In this regard and considering the limited allocation, we will be closing the DOLE-AKAP application on Wednesday, 22 April 2020, 12:01 a.m.,” Mustafa added.
Meanwhile, the DOLE asked for the people’s understanding and vowed to look for other means to provide to the needs of Filipinos abroad affected by the health crisis.
“We appeal to the public’s understanding as we try to find alternative ways to attend/cater to the needs of our OFWs affected by this pandemic,” it said. (PNA)