At the Philippine Consulate in Dubai.
PHOTO BY ARCHIVE
DUBAI – An estimated 81,000 Filipinos in Dubai and the Northern Emirates out of more than half a million Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) globally lost their jobs or income during the coronavirus pandemic, officials said.
Citing data from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Philippine Consul General Paul Raymond Cortes told Gulf News that the estimate is based on the number of Filipinos in Dubai and northern emirates who applied for cash assistance from the Philippine government.
Globally, an estimated 551,606 Filipinos working abroad have applied for cash assistance after losing their jobs or income during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello in a statement, citing DOLE data as of July 4.
OFWs who lost their jobs or were placed on no work, no pay scheme during the Covid-19 pandemic were offered cash aid of $200 or Dh730 as part of DOLE’s Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) program launched on April 8. DOLE was given P2.5 billion to finance the program, which is expected to benefit 250,000 OFWs.
Labor Attache Felicitas Bay, who heads POLO Dubai, told Expatmedia.net in a previous interview that the allocated fund for the programme covers 17,000 OFWs in Dubai and Northern Emirates. Bay told Expatmedia.net that POLO Dubai received a total of 83,341 applications as of June 7.
Meanwhile, the Philippine government is continuing its repatriation programme for displaced Filipinos. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), 11,688 more overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) returned home this week, raising the total number of repatriated citizens to 90,497.
Of this number, 40,540 are sea-based while 49,957 are land-based, with the most recent repatriates arriving from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Netherlands and US.
The DFA said it facilitated this week some 31 flights from the Middle East and brought home more than 8,500 OFWs. ICA/Expat Media
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