During yesterday’s V Café@DOLE forum, OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac assured the manning community and recruitment agencies that government, through OWWA, would continue to pay for food and hotel accommodation of repatriated sea-based and land-based workers.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, who was also at the forum, said that OWWA would speed up payment to hotels in an apparent response to reported complaints over delays in settling accommodation of OFWs.
“It would be settled in less than one week. Kailangan lang yung billing is well supported; mahirap naman kung mag overpay tayo,” Secretary Bello further said.
For his part, Administrator Cacdac corroborated the secretary’s statements. “We will expedite (the payment), ayon sa direktiba ni Sec. Bello na (to settle) within seven days. We will work on that,” Atty. Cacdac continued.
The same is true to caterers, who supplied food to OFWs, they would be promptly paid, according to the OWWA chief.
He also disclosed that, so far, OWWA had already spent P2.3 billion for food and hotel accommodations of sea-based and land-based workers and repatriated an estimated 285,000 OFWs.
In the same forum, Secretary Bello announced that returning OFWs do not need to apply for the P10,000 cash assistance under DOLE AKAP program. It would be handed to them at the airport.
The Labor department has received a fresh budget of P5 billion under the Bayanihan Act 2 to fund its financial assistance program to OFWs and other workers displaced by Covid-19.