The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) will be providing livelihood assistance for those OFWs who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But a strict screening of applicants will be implemented.
According to OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac, they had to make sure that the beneficiaries of these livelihood funds will still succeed despite the current COVID-19 pandemic. Cacdac recently announced that their agency will soon launch the program, “Tulong Puso” which is a cash grant to OFWs and not loans contradicting the previous reports. This is set to help repatriated OFWs start their own business from the P150,000 to P1 million cash assistance.
“Katambal na rin niyan ‘yong pag-jumpstart, kabahagi ang OFWs sa pagjumpstart ng ekonomiya natin,” says Cacdac. “Ito ay oportunidad para doon sa mga naapektuhan ng COVID-19 saka hindi na nakikita na sila’y makakabalik sa kanilang mga host countries.”
The Tulong Puso program by OWWA was already approved by the Board of Trustees.
“Since ito ay grant, napakahalaga po dito na hindi ho lahat ng aplikante ay mabibigyan. Hindi ho ito matter of entitlement o karapatan kasi ang talagang titignan talaga natin dito, kung sino yong mga merong talagang organisadong grupo, mayroong plano na nakikita nating pulido, maayos, at talagang pinapakita ‘yong kanilang mga plano para sila’y magtagumpay,” says Cacdac.
However, business proposals such as spas, fitness centers, and salons will not be granted as this is not appropriate in the current situation. The amount which will be given to applicants will depend on the livelihood plan.
To avail the said grant, OFWs must form at least a five-member group, with 80% of members should have been affected by the recent crackdown of jobs due to the pandemic. The worker’s association must also be registered at the Department of Labor and Employment, Cooperative Development Authority for cooperative, and the Securities and Exchange Commission for corporations.
Other requirements include documents to prove their identities and recent displacement as well as a comprehensive business plan. A seminar will also be required for OFW applicants.