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OWWA provides cash aid to OFW returnees from Kuwait

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The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) provides cash assistance to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who have returned home from Kuwait after signing in for the Amnesty Program.

The OWWA Cash Relief (CARE) Program provides P5,000.00 to each of the OFWs, to aid them in their return to their homeland.

As of February 23, the OWWA Regional Welfare Office I has already disbursed P130,000 for the program, distributed to 26 OFW-returnees. 13 of them come from La Union, 10 from Pangasinan, two from Ilocos Norte, and one from outside the region.

Qualified to apply for the program are OFWs who have availed of the Kuwait’s Amnesty Program, which allowed them to leave the Gulf state without having to pay corresponding penalties, as they are illegal stayers or have committed violations.

In Region 1, for example, most of the availees have committed absconding, or have ran-away from their employers, which is illegal under Kuwait law. Others had expired iqama, or work permits, while the rest were over stayers or visit visa holders.

Aside from the cash aid, the OWWA also provides livelihood assistance to the repatriated workers, through the Balik Pinas Balik Hanapbuhay Program. Each of the OFWs will be given P20,000 cash grant which they will use to start a livelihood undertaking of their choice. If they are active OWWA members, the OFWs may also avail of the OWWA training assistance, which provides them P14,500.00 should they wish to enroll in any technical-vocational courses.

The OWWA is one of the lead government offices assisting OFWs who availed of the Kuwait’s Amnesty Program, which began on January 29, 2018. As of February 21, a total of 2,286 amnesty availees have already arrived home. Around 8,000 more are expected to arrive in the coming weeks.

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