Overseas Filipino Workers are generally supported by various government agencies from the time before they leave the country up until their return to their families in the Philippines. The only problem is, not all of them go through legitimate means, which means some migrant Filipino workers are undocumented and disadvantaged in terms of benefits and protection.
Luckily, the government came up with a program that addresses the disadvantaged OFWs in the form of the reinvented Livelihood Development Assistance Program (LDAP).
What is Livelihood Development Assistance Program (LDAP)?
Livelihood Development Assistance Program (LDAP) is formerly known as the 10K Livelihood Assistance Program. This program was originally established in 2011, by virtue of Administrative Order No. 77 Series of 2011, with the goal of providing grants for livelihood assistance to returning Filipino migrants. Between 2011 and 2014 the program has served over 15,000 OFWs through various livelihood initiatives.
In 2014, it was reformulated under the National Reintegration Center for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to cater to undocumented OFWs.
What can LDAP beneficiaries get from the program?
As per the guidelines from DOLE, all beneficiaries of the Livelihood Development Assistance Program (LDAP) will receive a business enterprise start-up kit worth P10,000. This amount is expected to cover all the materials of their proposed business or livelihood initiative, which could range from a small sari-sari store, to beauty parlors, rice trade, machine shops, and furniture manufacturing.
Who can avail of the Livelihood Development Assistance Program (LDAP)?
The beneficiaries of this program shall be any undocumented OFWs, as defined by the Philippine law.
According to Roel Martin, NRCO OIC-director and chief of the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO), the Livelihood Development Assistance Program (LDAP) is meant to provide livelihood assistance to all returning OFWs, particularly the undocumented overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), who were displaced by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“We have programs for all returning OFWs that they may avail at NRCO. Of course, if you are an OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) member, you have the privilege and advantage. Nonetheless, if you are undocumented, you can also avail of the livelihood, training on entrepreneurship, and employment facilitation,” said Martin.
Who qualifies as the “undocumented OFWs”?
By virtue of the Department of Labor and Employment or DOLE’s Department Order No. 212 which was issued April 8, the Philippine government defined the “undocumented OFWs” who may be able to at least receive the support of the Philippine government via the Livelihood Development Assistance Program (LDAP) after meeting certain standards.
According to DOLE, the undocumented OFWs eligible to receive benefits under LDAP are those who satisfy either one of the following criteria:
- Those who have returned to the Philippines are eligible for the program;
- Those who acquired their passports through fraud or misrepresentation;
- Those who possess expired visas or permits to stay;
- Those who have no travel documents whatsoever;
- Those who were originally regular or documented workers but for some reason or cause, have thereafter lost their regular documented status;
- Those who are not registered with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) or whose contracts were not processed by POEA or the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), but have undertaken actions to regularize their contracts or status;
- Those who are not registered with the POEA or whose contracts were not processed by POEA or the POLO but are active Overseas Workers Welfare Administration(OWWA) members at the time of availing; and
- Those who have valid but inappropriate visas or those who have employment contracts that were not processed by the POEA or later verified and registered on-site by POLO, if required by law or regulation.
What are the documentary requirements to avail of the Livelihood Development Assistance Program (LDAP)?
To avail of this assistance, any undocumented OFW must prepare the following documentary requirements:
- Livelihood Development Assistance Program (LDAP) Request Form
- Passport copy
- Philippine Arrival Stamp (in your passport)
- Boarding Pass/Airline Ticket (Latest arrival in the country)
- Employment Contract/Work Contract/Other Proof of Employment
- Proof of Loss of Employment (Certificate from Employer)
- Endorsement from Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in lieu of the Certificate of Loss of Employment from Employer
How to apply for Livelihood Development Assistance Program (LDAP)?
Once you are deemed as a qualified undocumented OFW, then you can apply and become one of the beneficiaries of the Livelihood Development Assistance Program (LDAP).
You may then prepare and submit your requirements to your preferred Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional Office, though it must be the one closest in location to your planned side.
Once you have submitted the requirements and you have been selected to be one of the beneficiaries of the program, the DOLE will require you to prepare for operating a small business, by going through the Small Business Management Training and Financial Awareness Seminar.
Both the Small Business Management Training and Financial Awareness Seminar are required from all the beneficiaries to help them in the preparations necessary to manage a small business enterprise.
If you are an OFW or a returning OFW and you don’t believe that you are qualified to avail of the benefits under the Livelihood Development Assistance Program (LDAP), then feel free to check on all the other programs that both the Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA), the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA), or the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) have in store for you.
Think you aren’t qualified? Then check out this article on OWWA Reintegration Program for OFWs: Projects, Requirements and Benefits.