President Duterte has committed to help overseas Filipino workers, particularly those who were displaced from their jobs due to coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, by providing livelihood assistance including low-interest loans.
“I direct the Department of Agriculture and DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) to come up with an agri-business and entrepreneurship projects to help displaced OFWs to rebuild their livelihood,” President Duterte said during his fifth State-of-the-Nation Address..
He also asked the Land Bank of the Philippines and other government financial institutions to provide low-interest loans to OFWs.
“To my fellowmen persevering abroad, your government is here to help you and your family especially in this time,” he added.
As one of the government’s immediate responses to OFWs, the Department of Labor and Employment earlier extended $200 or P10,000 one-time cash assistance to OFWs under its Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong, or AKAP Program.
Nearly 215,000 OFWs were assisted under this program.
Remittances from overseas Filipinos have been one of the top dollar earners for the country, supporting its economic growth.
However, hundreds of thousands of OFWs were repatriated due to the pandemic.