MANILA – As far as overseas jobs for Filipinos are concerned, the chief of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) on Tuesday said he has observed that the cruise ship industry is the hardest hit sector by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
“These are just my observations. Definitely the most affected are cruise ship workers. Around 20,000 plus (workers) have returned, we can see that with the cessation of cruise ship operations and the bleak outlook on the cruise ship industry we can see that they are the hardest hit,” OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said in an online press conference.
He added that other industries that are also possibly affected by the crisis which is being experienced worldwide are hotels, restaurants among others.
“Probable industries that will be hit would be the hospitality sector. Hotel industry sector, restaurant sector, retail sector such as malls etc.,” Cacdac said.
Noting that he has yet to see whether the construction sector has also been affected, Cacdac hopes that OFWs working in the sector will be able to keep their jobs.
Meanwhile, Cacdac also reported that over 50,000 OFWs have benefitted from the Department of Labor and Employment-Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (DOLE-AKAP) program.
“It has to be emphasized that our target with a budget of PHP500 million is 50,000. The rest of PHP1 billion is with the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) overseas. Hence, we reached our target within a span of two and a half weeks of DOLE-AKAP implementation,” he said.
The OWWA administrator added that they approved over 50,000 applications, but the cash aid will be given in the next round.
“Our approvals surpassed our target beneficiaries. They (will be paid) are for the next round of financial assistance,” he said.
Cacdac added that they expect to complete the release within the week.
Under the DOLE-AKAP, OFW-beneficiaries are given a one-time cash aid of PHP10,000 (USD200). (ia/PNA)