8 OFWs among latest beneficiaries of DOLE assistance program
Eight OFWs were able to receive their monetary claims due them by their recruitment and placement agencies through the assistance of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
The eight — three from Taiwan, two from Saudi Arabia, and one each from Qatar, Kuwait and Ghana — were the latest OFWs to benefit from DOLE's Assist WELL program. They were working as factory workers, truck driver, a household service worker, a general cleaning worker, a waiter and a fisherman.
According to Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, the settlement of the eight OFWs' cases fell under the legal component of the Assist WELL, through which lawyers from the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) assisted the OFWs in preparing their individual sworn statements.
The sworn statements were then used in the filing of complaints with the National Labor Relations Commission on their money claims, and with the POEA on contract violation.
"I am very pleased that the Assist WELL Processing Center has settled through conciliation-mediation the monetary claims of eight OFWs who asked the Center for assistance," Baldoz said in a statement Monday.
"It shows that the Assist WELL Program is really effective in providing relief and assistance to our OFWs," she added.
POEA deputy administrator Amuerfina Reyes said the monetary claims of the eight OFWs were for underpaid wages, refund of placement fees, and refund of medical expenses.
"The monetary award as a result of the settlement ranges between P4,666 to P85,000 per OFW," Reyes said.
Baldoz said recent global developments that pose political, health, and economic security threats and emergencies on OFWs hae impelled the DOLE to establish the Assist WELL Program and the one-stop shop processing centers.
"We envision the Assist WELL Program as a long-term strategy to address the reintegration challenge,” she said.
Baldoz said the Assist WELL Program "is tailored-fit for the bad times and good times." —KBK, GMA News