The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has assisted 1,217 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Negros Oriental as of Aug. 31 amid the coronavirus 2019 disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
Mae Codilla, officer-in-charge, regional director of the OWWA in Region 7 (Central Visayas), disclosed this during a virtual symposium Thursday afternoon, organized by the city government here through its Public Employment Service Office (PESO).
Officials of the OWWA, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) were the guest panelists during the symposium held as part of the city’s celebration of the 120th Philippine Civil Service anniversary this September.
Codilla said that nationwide, the OWWA has catered to around 200,000 OFWs, including those who lost their jobs or unable to finish their contracts as a result of the pandemic.
In fact, some of them even tested positive of Covid-19 and were provided assistance as well, she said.
Services included the repatriation of OFWs, including facilitating their return to their home towns and grant of financial and other forms of assistance.
Codilla mentioned among other things, OWWA’s Project EASE (Educational Assistance through Scholarships in Emergencies) for qualified children of its member-OFWs who have been affected by the pandemic.
Under this program, a PHP10,000 assistance per annum for a maximum of four years is given to a qualified college-level dependent of an OFW who was repatriated since the Covid-19 outbreak last February 1, she said.
Project EASE has 10,000 slots nationwide with an allocation of 635 slots for Region 7 but on a first-come, first-served basis, she added.
For couples who are both OFWs, only one slot will be made available to them, Codilla said.
She, however, said OWWA also has other college scholarship programs.
Around 25 OFWs were invited to the symposium at the city session hall who were able to raise their concerns with the agencies. (PNA)