Bello urges officials to fast track approvals, payouts following additional Php140 million DOLE-AKAP allocation for OFWs in UAE

14,000 more individuals in the UAE are expected to receive cash assistance from the Philippines’ Department of Labor and Employment’s Abot Kamay Ang Pagtulong (DOLE-AKAP) program following Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III’s pronouncements of additional allocations.
Secretary Bello stated that 10,000 will be allocated for Dubai, while 4,000 more will be allocated for Abu Dhabi as a response to the huge demand from Filipinos in the UAE to benefit from the government’s financial aid plan. With each individual receiving Php10,000 each, this amounts to an additional Php140 million to be allocated for OFWs in the UAE.
“For the record, ang nag apply sa Dubai – unbelievable, 56,000. But we approved 6,000 and we paid already 5,000 so that’s about 50 million (pesos) yan. Meron kaming additional allocation of 10,000 for Dubai,” said Secretary Bello after addressing Kalayaan PID Jason Bucton’s inquiry about DOLE’s allocations for OFWs in the UAE who have sought approvals for their DOLE-AKAP applications.
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Earlier, Charity Melevo an OFW based in Dubai asked for assistance during the Zoom meeting after she applied for the DOLE-AKAP program and did not receive any updates afterwards even after she accomplished all necessary forms. Bucton furthered that amid the huge wave of applications, Labor Attache Felicitas Bay and her team at the POLO-OWWA in Dubai had been working nonstop to process applications.
“We have already informed the FilCom that our POLO Dubai has received 56,000 applications at kinukulang po sila ng tao to evaluate and we would like to commend Felicitas Bay and her team who are doing their best kahit po nag o-overtime, kahit holidays ay ginagawa po nila,” said Bucton.
In line with this, DOLE Undersecretary for Legal and Overseas Operations Cluster Claro Arellano also stated that they will aid Dubai in the processing of applications.
“Tutulungan na lang po namin ang Dubai na mag evaluate po ng applications. Pangalan po and kung nag-apply na po sila sa Dubai online, then we’ll ask Dubai po na i-forward na lang po sa amin. Anyway, may database naman po kami sa DOLE dun din po sa mga applicants po dito sa AKAP assistance program. We’ll help and assist yung Dubai sa processing ng applications,” said Usec Arellano during the Zoom meeting.
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Secretary Bello hopes that POLO-OWWA officials in the UAE could fast track both the approvals and pay outs for the DOLE-AKAP program to help OFWs in need during these times.
“Fast track the approval and fast track the pay out of our AKAP program for our OFWs onsite and in the Philippines. Sabihin niyo kay LabAtt Fely bilisan ang mag process doon sa application para magamit natin yung 10,000 allocation for Dubai,” said Secretary Bello.


Staff Report

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