Press Release
June 24, 2020

DOLE supports Sen. Revilla's S. No. 801 to ease plight of OFWs affected by COVID-19 pandemic

Philippine Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello on Wednesday expressed the full support of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for S. No. 801 filed by Senator Ramon Bong Revilla, Jr. which seeks to provide a credit assistance program for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the senate committee hearing on labor, employment and human resources development, Bello told Revilla that the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has stable funds amounting to more than P 18 billion which can be allocated for financial and other forms of assistance to as many affected OFWs as possible, provided that the senate will create the parameters for loan application.

Revilla also asked Sec. Bello for an update on DOLE's on-going programs for displaced OFWs, including the re-integration program and livelihood assistance.

The veteran senator further commended the labor department for extending cash assistance of $ 200 to each of the 302,000 affected OFWs, and for shouldering the hospital expenses of 1, 953 infected OFWs.

Bello also took the opportunity to clarify to Revilla that the reported 7.3 million unemployed Filipinos is only the result of a survey conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), and does not represent the actual unemployment rate in the country.

From January to June this year, DOLE records state that there are 90,000 displaced workers due to the temporary closure of 2,122 business establishments and permanent closure of 169 establishments.

Bong Revilla was elated to know that DOLE has submitted a proposal for a wage subsidy program which intends to extend financial assistance for affected business establishments by providing 25-50 percent of their workers' salary so they no longer need to terminate employees to sustain operations.

"Yan po ang maganda nating mapag-aralan mapaghandaan dahil sa dami ng mawawalan ng trabaho lalo na't mag-uuwian yung ibang OFW. I know, Secretary, that you are doing a great job. Keep up the good work, nasa likuran mo lang kami," Revilla said.

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