The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration was recently urged by Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon to facilitate the immediate repatriation of 150,000 displaced overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Drilon made the statement after the agency announced that it could face bankruptcy in 2021 should the Covid-19 crisis continue.
Currently, OWWA has Php18.8-billion funds to bring home 150,000 stranded OFWs and give them financial and livelihood assistance.
“I strongly suggest that OWWA provide fullest assistance to the OFWs. That’s their money. Nobody expected this. Ang kailangan ay matulungan muna natin ang ating mga kababayan sa ibayong dagat,” Drilon said.
OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said that they will be needing around Php5-billion to repatriate, quarantine and bring home all 150,000 OFWs.
However, Drilon said that with OWWA’s current budget, they can still absorb the OFWs that need to be repatriated.
“The way I look at it you would still have sufficient funds in your coffers to be able to respond to this,” Drilon told the OWWA administrator.
“I am sure the Congress will be willing to assist OWWA in making it financially viable if it is able to show that in these times of crisis, OWWA can respond properly. We are more than willing to help if you are able to execute your mandate well,” the senator added.