The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait said over 20,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have been displaced since the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic struck early 2020.
Embassy Charge d’Affaires Charleson Hermosura reported that around 25,000 overseas Filipinos have so far requested for assistance under the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) financial aid.
“Ito pong bilang na ito ang ating basehan sa pagsabi kung ilang Pilipino sa Kuwait ang nawalan ng trabaho o ‘di kaya ay naapektuhan ang trabaho dahil sa pandemya (We use this number to determine the numbers of displaced Filipinos or those whose jobs were affected by the pandemic),” he said during the Laging Handa briefing on Wednesday.
Hermosura said the Embassy is now waiting for the release of funds. Around 19,000 applications were approved, of which 10,000 applicants already received the cash aid.
Under the DOLE Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) program, qualified Filipinos affected by the outbreak may get a one-time USD200 cash assistance.
Aside from the DOLE financial aid, the Embassy has also distributed food packs to the most affected Filipinos in Kuwait. A USD200 cash aid is also allocated for Filipinos afflicted with Covid-19, Hermosura shared.
“Sa ngayon, nasa 639 na ang application para sa naturang programa, ito rin ang ating sinasabing bilang ng mga nagkasakit ng Covid-19 na Filipino dito sa Kuwait (At present, there are 639 applications for the program, this is also the same number that was found positive of Covid-19 in Kuwait),” he said.
Since offices resumed operations in the country, the diplomat noted that no Filipino worker has so far reported any concerns. (PNA)