DOLE: More than 18,000 returning OFWs assisted
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.