The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has been providing help to returning Filipino migrants affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, they recently announced that their organization won’t stay stable as it is by the end of 2021.

According to OWWA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac, if the COVID-19 pandemic continues, their organization will go bankrupt by 2021. Cacdac made the revelation during the Senate Committee on Labor and Employment hybrid hearing.

“By the end of 2021 we will be down to less than P1 billion and that’s not even assuming that our reintegration program will be in full swing. We have been spending around P800 million for re-integration every year, pre-Covid year. At Covid year maliit na yung 100-200,000 reintegration (At Covid year, the reintegration is estimated at 100,000-200,000),” says Cacdac.

According to Cacdac, due to their high expenditure for food, transportation, hotels, and financial assistance to returning OFWs, they will go down to P10 billion at the end of the year.

Cacdac also added that before the COVID-19, about 35,000 OFWs asked for the assistance of OWWA.

“But on a Covid year, sir, we are looking at, maliit na po sir ang 100 to 200,000 OFWs who will seek the reintegration assistance,” he added.

OWWA is also looking at the worst scenario wherein 300,000 OFWs could return to the Philippines due to the pandemic.

“Last June 1, we delivered a letter to DoLE Secretary Silvestre Bello and Senate President Vicente Sotto 3rd asking for a supplemental fund of around P5 billion in the area, especially for hotel, food, and transport so that we can be sustained along these lines, and we can devote more programs for reintegration and financial assistance for our OFWs. And of course, preserving the (OWWA) fund at the same time,” says Cacdac.

Source: Manila Times

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