OWWA to give livelihood aid to OFWs leaving Israel
By Connie Calipay
LEGAZPI CITY --- The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)-5 (Bicol) is ready to assist and provide livelihood aid to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who are affected by the Israel-Hamas war and want to return home.
In an interview on Wednesday, Bernard John Bonnet, OWWA-5 information officer, said they are monitoring at least 568 Bicolano OFWs in Israel.
“I also inquired to our Naga City satellite office if meron bang mga Bicolanos na gusto umuwi pero so far, wala pa po tayong na-receive na request for repatriation or assistance (I also inquired to our Naga City satellite office if there are any Bicolanos who want to go home but so far, we have not received any request for repatriation or assistance),” Bonnet said.
He said the government is more than ready to repatriate and help displaced OFWs through OWWA’s Balik Pinas, Balik Hanapbuhay Program.
“Just in case meron gusto umuwi, pumunta sila sa Embassy para ma expedite ang pag-uwi nila (just in case there are those who want to go home, they need to go to the Embassy to expedite the process of going home),” Bonnet said.
“It is not limited to workers from Israel. This is for all those who lost their jobs due to mistreatment, contractual violation or termination,” he added.
Bonnet said the livelihood grants to OFWs depend on the status of their membership.
“Under the Balik Pinas, Balik Hanapbuhay Program, an active OWWA member can get PHP20,000, inactive OWWA member with multiple contributions can get PHP10,000, while those inactive members with only one contribution can get PHP5,000,” he said.
Bonnet said OWWA also provides financial assistance under the OFW Protection Program, where an active member can get PHP20,000, and an inactive member, PHP10,000, subject to the recommendation of the labor attaché and approval of the OWWA board of trustees. (PNA)