LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – Over 1,800 distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from the Bicol region received a total of P36.8 million in assistance from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) in the first 10 months of 2018.
OWWA-Bicol director Samuel Madrid said most of the distressed OFWs were women who worked in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
Madrid said in an interview with Rappler on the sidelines of OFW Family Day on Monday, December 10, that out of 1,859 distressed OFWs who reported to his office to avail of livelihood grants, 1,151 were females.
Madrid said that the OFWs got a total of P35.82 million from the OWWA’s livelihood program under the Balik-Pinas, Balik-Hanapbuhay (BPBH) program in the Bicol region from January to October 2018.
Among the provinces in the Bicol region, Albay province has the highest number of recipients of OWWA cash grants, followed by Camarines Sur.
OWWA Bicol said the common livelihood projects of the beneficiaries are sundry store, hog raising and rice trading.
The BPBH program covers OFWs who were displaced and forced to return to the Philippines due to stressful situations such as maltreatment, civil unrest, retrenchment, victims of illegal recruitment, human trafficking, and other related cases.
The program can be availed of once and caters only to distressed OWWA-member OFWs.
The financial grant – a maximum amount of P20,000 – can be used to start a business or for additional capital for livelihood.
In addition to the financial assistance, OWWA also provides financial literacy trainings. – Rappler.com