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From 150,000 to 400,000: Bello admits DOLE underestimated number of OFWs affected by pandemic

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Sunday admitted that they underestimated the number of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were laid off or whose jobs were heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Bello said that from 150,000, the number of OFWs who applied for the one-time $200 (Php10,000) cash aid ballooned to 400,000.
“Ang binigay sa amin na pondo para sa mga OFW ay P1.5 billion, ito para sa 150,000 [na OFW] kasi yun ang estimate namin pero sa ating mga kababayan na nag-apply ay umaabot na ng 400,000, which is [150,000] beyond our estimate,” Bello told in an interview with Dobol B sa News TV.
With this, Bello said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), has already sought additional Php1 billion fund from the national government to continue the cash assistance program for OFWs.
The labor secretary added that nearly P1.5 billion in assistance has so far been given to affected OFWs. The number includes those who did not lose their jobs but are unable to go to work due to quarantine measures.

Staff Report

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