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DMW ready to give cash-aid to OFWs returning due to Israel-Hamas war

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 26) — The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) on Thursday said it is ready to provide at least P50,000 in cash assistance to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) repatriated due to the continuing Isarel-Hamas conflict.

The budget will be sourced from the ₱700 million that remains out of DWM's ₱1.2 billion Agarang Kalinga at Saklolo para sa mga OFWs na Nangangailangan (AKSYON) fund, according to DMW Officer-in-Charge Hans Cacdac.

«It is essentially a fund for legal, medical, and humanitarian assistance. Iyan pong three-fold assistance program na 'yan ay itinalaga ni Secretary “Toots” Ople,» Cacdac said during a House committee hearing.

Cacdac said since April, P400 million has already been distributed to 5,525 repatriated OFWs including those who came from earthquake-hit Turkey and the violence-stricken Sudan.

He added that the department has a «catch-up plan» to use the remaining fund from AKSYON this year.

In a separate statement on Thursday, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said a total of 59 OFWs were already repatriated in batches from Oct. 16 to 23.

The PCO said while waiting for their repatriation, OFWs are each provided $200 financial assistance.

Upon arrival in Manila, they will each receive P50,000 from DMW, P50,000 from OWWA, care kits and food packs from the National Reintegration Center for OFWs, and P10,000 financial assistance vouchers from DSWD and TESDA.

During the same House hearing, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Director Jocelyn Hapal explained the benefits and assistance given to OFWs returning from Israel.

«Yung mga umuwi from Israel (those returning from Israel), being OWWA members, they are entitled to reintegration programs and loan program, » she explained.

RELATED: First batch of 170 OFWs in Lebanon to be repatriated

CNN Philippines correspondent Xianne Arcangel contributed to this story.