ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/15 August) – The government through the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has started releasing financial assistance to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who were repatriated from Libya.
Hassan Gabra Jumdain, OWWA regional director, said that two of the repatriated OFWs received on Wednesday P10,000 each in financial assistance.
Jumdain did not identify the recipients except to say they were among the listed 13 OFWs from the region that had returned from Libya.
He said the 13 OFWs are from Maluso, Basilan; Pagadian City; Dipolog City, Zamboanga City and from the other parts of Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur provinces.
He said the repatriated OFWs could also avail of other assistance from OWWA such as scholarship and livelihood programs aside from the cash financial assistance.
The official said the financial assistance and livelihood program are aimed to cushion the effect of displacement caused by the repatriation.
He clarified that only those who were repatriated from July 20 onwards may receive financial assistance from OWWA.
“Why July 20? Because it was the date when the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) declared Alert Level 4 in Libya, which means mandatory repatriation,” he explained.
He said under Alert Level 4 the government will undertake evacuation of OFWs as soon as possible and ban travel by Filipino nationals to the affected country.
The government raised Alert Level 4 due to the worsening political conflict in Libya.
On the other hand, Jumdain said OFWs who have escaped or were sent home by their employers from July 20 onwards but were not included in OWWA’s list can also avail of assistance from the agency.
He said they only have to report to his office and submit their passports, Libyan visa and ticket from Libya to the Philippines to qualify them for the assistance. (MindaNews)