Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III yesterday said that the Department is coordinating with other concerned government agencies to assist the families and other beneficiaries of OFWs who were displaced by the oil price crisis in the Middle East.
“The drop in oil prices in the Gulf States caused financial difficulties to many construction companies which employ a good number of overseas Filipino workers. Because of this, many of our OFWs were displaced and has little or no means to support their families at home,” said Bello.
He added that the displaced OFWs requested for the Department to intercede in their behalf with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to provide assistance to their families and other beneficiaries.
“Many of the companies in Riyadh and Jeddah which are severely affected by the oil price crisis are employing many OFWs. While awaiting their separation pay and other money claims, some of the children of these OFWs had to stop their schooling,” said Bello.
DOLE, through the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has requested CHED to provide the children of displaced OFWs with educational assistance, including scholarship in state universities, so their schooling will not be disrupted.
The DSWD, on the other hand, was requested by Secretary Bello to provide temporary employment to spouses and other dependents of displaced OFWs under the Cash for Work Program.
The Cash For Work Program is a government short-term intervention aimed at providing temporary employment to displaced individuals by participating in preparedness, mitigation, relief, rehabilitation, or risk reduction projects and activities in their communities.