In an effort to help the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has launched “DOLE-AKAP for OFWs” The initiative was meant to give financial assistance to displaced Land-based and Sea-based Filipino workers amid the coronavirus diseases (COVID-19). Filipinos can apply for the AKAP program by visiting the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) office near their work location abroad or OWWA office in their home province.
The one-time cash assistance is in the amount of USD 200.00 or PHP 10,000.00 or its equivalent to the local currency of the host country. The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is the processing body and they have started accepting online applications since the 13th of April, 2020.
Who are Eligible to Apply for Cash Assistance
- OFWs who are unable to work because of lockdown in their host countries.
- Those who were stuck overseas in their host countries, returning OFWs, or Balik-Manggagawa (OFWs leaving the Philippines to return to work) but can’t leave due to the travel ban.
- OFWs who have not received financial assistance from their host countries or employers.
Where to Apply for DOLE-AKAP
The application for DOLE-AKAP cash assistance is available online, but priority is given to countries with satellite offices of Philippine Overseas Labor (POLO). The countries are listed as follows:
|Asia and the Pacific||Europe and Americas||Middle East and Africa|
|1. Australia||1. Canada||1. Bahrain|
|2. Brunei||2. Cyprus||2. Israel|
|3. Hong Kong||3. Italy||3. Jordan|
|4. Japan||4. Germany||4. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia|
|5. Korea||5. Greece||5. Kuwait|
|6. Macau||6. Spain||6. Lebanon|
|7. Singapore||7. Switzerland||7. Libya|
|8. Taiwan||8. United Kingdom of Great Britain||8. Oman|
|9. Malaysia||9. United States of America||9. Qatar|
|10. New Zealand||10. United Arab Emirates|
Step-by-Step Process in Applying for DOLE-AKAP
FOR ON-SITE OFWs
- OFWs abroad shall submit the following to the nearest Philippine Labor Office (POLO):
- Duly accomplished Application Form for Special Cash Assistance;
- Copy of Passport or Travel Document;
- Proof of overseas employment including but not limited to valid overseas employment, OEC, residence I.D.s, visa or re-entry visa, or permit to stay in the receiving country;
- Proof of loss of employment due to COVID19; and
- For undocumented OFWs through no fault of their own, proof that the OFW is currently involved in an ongoing case, information like the case reference number, and case endorsement stamped by POLO are required.
- After submitting the complete documents, POLOs shall evaluate the application and notify the OFW on the status of his/her application within 5 working days.
- Once approved, the concerned POLO shall release USD200.00 through bank transfer or money remittance.
FOR OFWS WHO HAVE BEEN REPATRIATED / BALIK-MANGGAGAWA
- OFWs who have been repatriated to the Philippines and those who are planning to leave the Philippines under the Balik-Manggagawa program are required to submit the following to the OWWA Regional Welfare Offices (RWOS) to avail of DOLE’s cash assistance:
- Accomplished Application Form for Special Cash Assistance downloadable at the DOLE-AKAP website;
- Copy of Passport or Travel Document;
- Any proof of overseas employment such as valid verified overseas employment, OEC, residence I.D.s, visa or re-entry visa, or permit to stay in the receiving country; and
- Proof of loss of employment because of COVID19.
- Once submitted, RWOS shall evaluate the application and notify OFWs about the status of his/her application within 5 working days.
- If approved, the concerned DOLE Regional Office shall release Php10,000.00 through money remittance via Peso Net.
Stringent social distancing measures are observed due to COVID-19, so the applications for “DOLE-AKAP FOR OFWs” are done online.