Duterte approves P5B add’l fund for DOLE  for OFWs affected by COVID-19 pandemic

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President Rodrigo Duterte has approved an additional P5 billion budget for the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to be used in assisting Filipino migrant workers hit by the pandemic, its chief said Sunday.

A “huge part” of the fresh funds will be allocated to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) which oversees OFW repatriation and their needs upon arrival in the country until their return to their respective hometowns.

DOLE said the government has so far brought home 129,141 OFWs since May 15 and provided a one-time P10,000 or $200 cash aid to more than 233,000 migrant workers, amounting to P2.388 billion, as of Saturday.

Some 9,725 Filipinos abroad have contracted the respiratory illness, of whom 708 died and 5,760 recovered, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Saturday.

The Philippines on the same day reported 4,226 new COVID-19 cases, its fourth highest single-day increase since the pandemic began, raising the nationwide total to 126,885.

Of the total, 67,117 patients recovered and 2,209 died. /Stacy Ang

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