News OFWs in the Middle East launch online petition to...

OFWs in the Middle East launch online petition to ask Philippine gov’t for financial aid

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Filipinos in the Middle East have recently launched an online petition to ask the Philippine government for financial assistance amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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In its petition description, it asks the Philippine government to assist the huge number of OFWs who have been laid off and severely affected by the Covid-19 crisis.

“Most of us are jobless now. There are no job openings, and if there is, thousands are fighting over the position,” the description read.

The petition, which was launched on SpeakOut! website, added that although there’s cash and food assistance being distributed for displaced OFWs, not everyone in need is included.

The Philippine Consulate has recently announced that the USD200 cash assistance for OFWs will be distributed to qualified ones (terminated and on no work no pay scheme). However, there are a few OFWs on the internet commenting that they haven’t recieved it and didn’t receive a confirmation for three months already.

“Many Filipinos abroad didn’t make the cut in the government assistance program because of the ample requirements. They, too, needed assistance,” the petition added.

As part of the Philippine government’s program to help OFWs, it launches a series of repatriation flights and prioritizes those visit visa holders.

In an April 13 announcement by the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi, it notes that those OFWs who have been terminated amid the Covid-19 pandemic need to ask their employers to book their own air tickets.

“Ito ay sang-ayon sa batas ng UAE,” the statement read.

“Those who want to go home and can’t afford plane tickets shall also be accommodated. The Philippine missions do not include those who have been terminated because the employer ‘must cover the plane ticket expenses as per the labor law.’ However, there are companies which already closed its doors permanently and can no longer support its former employees,” meanwhile, the petition, mentioned.

Last year, an estimated 10 million OFWs sent about $30-billion to the Philippines–equating to nearly eight percent of the country’s GDP.

Ryan Namia
Ryan Namia spends most of his days reading over drafts of new written content and determining which ones make the final cut for online and print publication. He received his Bachelor's degree in Journalism in 2015 and has been writing since 2016. Got a story to tell? Email him at eic@theglobalfilipinomagazine.com. Or follow his IG @rtnamia.

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