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At the POLO Dubai cash disbursement counter for the DOLE AKAP program on August 7, 2020.

PHOTO BY EXPAT MEDIA


DOLE AKAP aid continues for Filipinos in UAE

 

DUBAI – “Just when people have given up hope on receiving good news on their DOLE AKAP cash aid request, I received mine today after a couple of months of waiting,” a Dubai-based Filipina who claimed Dh730 at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Dubai (POLO Dubai) on Friday (August 7) told Expatmedia.net.

The long-time Dubai resident said she applied for cash assistance after her employer resorted to no work, no pay scheme during the coronavirus crisis.

“Some people I know have applied since late April and are still waiting for word. If they submitted complete and clear copies of their documents, then they shouldn’t worry. I received my email alert from POLO Dubai on Thursday, but I am still incredibly grateful. The problem is that people are quick to bash on social media without thinking that at this time of pandemic, we all need to be patient because government agencies are operating at limited capacity and I’m sure they received tens of thousands of requests,” she told Expatmedia.net.

Dozens of Filipinos in Dubai and the northern emirates received Dh730 on Friday as POLO Dubai opened on the weekend in an exceptional service to release cash aid to distressed Filipinos in the UAE.

Releasing of funds has been ongoing since the DOLE AKAP program was launched in April, with POLO Dubai staff even allocating a portion of their weekend since May 1 as a humanitarian gesture to speed up the distribution of aid. The agency is open every Friday from 8:30am to 4pm solely for the cash assistance release.

The cash aid is part of the Philippine government’s one-time financial assistance of $200 (Dh730) for OFWs who lost their jobs or were placed on no work, no pay scheme due to the Covid-19 crisis. The program was launched by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on April 8.

The total funding allocated for the cash assistance program covers 22,000 Filipinos in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, Labor Attache Felicitas Bay, who heads POLO Dubai, told Expatmedia.net on Friday. More than 80,000 people have reportedly applied for cash assistance.

In Abu Dhabi, cash aid disbursement is also ongoing through a designated money exchange centre. Beneficiaries will need to bring their Emirates ID for identification.

In Dubai, Janice (full name withheld) who claimed financial assistance on Friday said it came at the right time.

“I understand that POLO received thousands of requests like mine, so I sort of forgot about the application I sent in a couple of months ago. On Thursday, I was pleasantly surprised when I received the email that I can claim the money today,” Janice told Expatmedia.net.

She said that part of the funds will be used to “share to people I know who really have almost nothing left to spend on necessities”.

Seamless distribution of cash assistance at POLO Dubai

As of 11am on Friday, more than 28 people scheduled to claim their cash aid had already received Dh730 at POLO Dubai, according to a signed list of beneficiaries seen by Expatmedia.net.

Beneficiaries received an email alert from POLO Dubai on Thursday, informing them to claim the cash at the agency’s office at a designated time on Friday and to bring copies of the documents they submitted.

A lone security guard at the gate asked beneficiaries who arrived at the POLO Dubai premises on Friday to show the email they received. Visitors are also subjected to thermal screening in order to be allowed entry.

Then, they are asked to head to the cash disbursement area. Ample space has placed between rows of chairs as part of social distancing measures.

The distribution of cash aid was quick and seamless, with the process taking less than 10 minutes.

How to claim DOLE AKAP cash aid at POLO Dubai

1. At the entrance, show the email you received from POLO Dubai

2. Be seated in the waiting area and wait for your turn at the counter

3. At the counter, submit the following:
– DOLE AKAP cash aid application copy (or freshly filled up form)
– Passport copy
– Emirates ID copy
– Copy of company email indicating job loss or no work, no pay status
– Any valid ID

4. Sign an acknowledgment form

5. Add your details to a list of beneficiaries (add your name, company, mobile number and signature)

6. Receive Dh730 from the cashier (it comes in a white envelope, with crisp Dh500, Dh200, Dh20 and Dh10 notes placed in clear view).

How to apply for Dh730 cash aid

Filipinos in the UAE who lost their jobs or “have experienced job displacement” due to the coronavirus pandemic will be getting a one-time cash assistance of Dh730 ($200) from the Philippine government. Filipinos on no work, no pay scheme will also be entitled to cash assistance.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the cash assistance program is available to registered OFWs, as well as undocumented Filipinos who have taken steps to regularizing their status or are active members of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

OFWs in Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and those in Europe, America and Asia may also avail of cash assistance.

Here’s all you need to know:

Who are eligible?

According to POLO officials in Dubai, OFWs who lost their employment or have experienced job displacement due to Covid-19 can get financial assistance. They must also be OFWs who did not receive financial support or assistance from employers. Filipinos on no work, no pay scheme will also be entitled to cash assistance.

According to POLO, eligible workers must be either:

– Regular/documented OFWs with valid passport and appropriate visa or permit to work in UAE

– Regular/documented OFWs with employment contract processed by POEA or POLO

– Documented workers who have lost their regular or documented status

– Undocumented OFWs who are not registered with POEA or whose contracts were not processed by POEA or POLO but have undertaken actions to regularize their contracts or status

– Undocumented OFWs who are not registered with POEA or whose contracts were not processed by POEA or POLO, but are active OWWA members at the time of availment.

– Workers who remain to be unemployed at the time of availment of financial assistance

– Workers under “no work, no pay” arrangement

– Workers who are unable to work and receive salary due to Covid-19 infection

How many times can I avail of financial assistance?

Only once.

How do I apply for assistance in UAE?

Applicants with residence visa in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah and Umm Al Quwain can contact POLO Dubai for assistance. For Filipinos based in Al Ain and Abu Dhabi, contact POLO in Abu Dhabi or the Philippine Embassy.

1. Download the application form here (you must be logged on to your Google account to access)

You can also download the form here

If you don’t have a Google account, click here to download the application form

2. Fill in the form.

3. For applicants from Dubai and Northern Emirates: Submit accomplished form through www.polodubaiportal.org/dole-akap-for-ofws-in-dubai-and-northern-emirates or click here (you must be logged on to your Google account to access)

For applicants from Abu Dhabi and Al Ain: Submit the accomplished form here

4. Upload the following supporting documents:

– Copy of valid passport with employment visa

– Any proof of employment (upload only one proof): Verified employment contract, OEC, valid OWWA membership, Emirates ID, Residence Visa or Re-Entry Visa

– Proof of loss of employment/loss of salary/no work no pay scheme due to Covid-19

– For those with legal case: proof of a pending case that has caused their current “undocumented status, such as case reference number, case endorsement stamped by the POLO, etc”.

5. Upon receiving complete requirements, POLO shall evaluate the documents and notify the worker through email of the approval or disapproval of the application.

6. POLO shall advise applicant on where to claim Dh730.

How do I contact POLO in Dubai?

You can contact the agency through the following:

Website: www.polodubaiportal.org

Email: [email protected]

Mobile: 0506526626

What about OFWs in the Philippines?

OFWs who are currently in the Philippines may also avail of cash assistance by submitting their application and supporting documents to their respective regional or local OWWA offices:

– Accomplished application form for special cash assistance downloadable at www.dole-akap.owwa.gov.ph

– Copy of passport or travel documents

– Proof of overseas employment, such as valid OEC, residence ID, visa/re-entry visa, etc

– Proof of loss of employment/loss of salary/no work no pay scheme due to the Covid-19 disease


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