DOLE: More than 18,000 re­turn­ing OFWs as­sisted

The Philippine Star - - NEWS - By SHEILA CRISOSTOMO

More than 18,000 repa­tri­ated over­seas Filipino work­ers (OFWs) have availed them­selves of as­sis­tance nine months after the new ad­min­is­tra­tion took over, the De­part­ment of La­bor and Em­ploy­ment (DOLE) said yes­ter­day.

La­bor Sec­re­tary Sil­vestre Bello III said a to­tal of 18,577 re­turn­ing OFWs have ben­e­fited from the As­sist WELL (wel­fare, em­ploy­ment, liveli­hood and le­gal) pro­gram of DOLE.

Based on data from the National Rein­te­gra­tion Cen­ter for OFWs (NRCO), 6,721 of the repa­tri­ated OFWs who re­ceived help had been re­trenched due to ei­ther can­cel­la­tion or post­pone­ment of em­ploy­ers’ projects, down­siz­ing, cost-cut­ting, re­dun­dancy or fi­nan­cial losses.

An­other 5,169 com­plained of con­tract vi­o­la­tion, while more than 4,000 re­turned to the coun­try due to ter­mi­na­tion of em­ploy­ment con­tract.

A to­tal of 1,355 de­cided to stay in the Philip­pines, of which 543 came home due to health rea­sons; 397 be­cause of cri­sis sit­u­a­tion in coun­tries of des­ti­na­tion; 165 were victims of il­le­gal re­cruit­ment and 64 whose visas ex­pired.

Data also show that 3,419 OFWs who sought le­gal as­sis­tance were pro­vided with ad­vice and/or as­sis­tance in fil­ing com­plaints against their em­ploy­ers and lo­cal agen­cies.

Among the re­turn­ing OFWs, al­most half or 8,770 came from the King­dom of Saudi Ara­bia while 1,829 came from Tai­wan.

A to­tal of 75 OFWs opted for lo­cal em­ploy­ment and were re­ferred to lo­cal com­pa­nies; 444 re­quested for com­pe­tency as­sess­ment and train­ing as­sis­tance; and 996 opted for over­seas em­ploy­ment and were re­ferred to re­cruit­ment agen­cies.

Bello said that a num­ber of re­turn­ing OFWs also re­quested as­sis­tance on liveli­hood and en­tre­pre­neur­ial pro­grams.

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