The welfare component of ‘Assist WELL’ program, a package of reintegration assistance and services for returning overseas Filipino workers, recorded the biggest number of beneficiaries towards the end of November.
In a report to Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III, the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) said a total of 18,365 migrant Filipino workers availed of Assist WELL program, of which 3,914 were provided with the welfare component composed of airport, medical emergency and transport assistance; and temporary shelter and accommodation at OWWA hostel.
This was followed by legal services which were availed by 3,914 OFWs who sought adjudication, conciliation and counseling. On the other hand, the employment component recorded the third with the most number of serviced OFWs at 2,161 who availed of competency assistance and certification, local employment, and overseas employment services.
The livelihood component recorded a total of 1,594 OFWs who requested to be assisted in availing the Balik-Pinas, Balik-HanapBuhay Program; Balik-Pinay, BalikHanapbuhay; Kabuhayan Formation, Livelihood Development Assistance Program; and preferred to access the Entrepreneurial Development Training.
The ‘WELL’ in the Assist WELL Program stands for welfare, employment, livelihood, and legal, which is a package of government reintegration assistance and services implemented by DOLE concerned agencies to address the needs of migrant workers who have returned or were repatriated due to crisis or emergency situations.
“Our OFWs were provided with more than one type of assistance offered under the Assist WELL, depending on their request at the Centers,” Bello said.
They were served through the Assist WELL Processing Centers strategically placed across all the regions in the country while others were assisted at the Centers located at Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Seoul, South Korea.
The Assist WELL Centers are manned by a composite team composed of representatives of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Bureau of Local Employment (BLE), National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB), Bureau of Working Conditions (BWC), National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC), NRCO and DOLE Regional Offices.
Aside from WELL services, the Assist WELL Program has also an Internet-based employment referral system, linked to the POEA and PhilJobNet databases, where OFWs have the opportunity to choose prospective employers.