The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration allotted P400 million for the first year of implementation of an education assistance program to qualified children of its member-overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Project Educational Assistance through Scholarships in Emergencies (EASE) aims to provide P10,000 education assistance per year for a maximum of four years to qualified children of active OWWA members who were repatriated due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
OWWA-Cordillera Director Manuela Peña said under Project EASE, their office received 77 applications, of which 16 were approved and 10 beneficiaries already received the assistance for this academic year.
Peña also assured the assistance for the beneficiaries of their other regular scholarship programs.
For the Educational for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP), there are 83 scholars and 69 for the Education and Livelihood Assistance Program (ELAP).
There are 12 scholars for the Congressional Migrant Workers Scholarship Program (CMWSP).
EDSP and CMWSP (PCSO-funded) provide a yearly grant of P60,000 to qualified children of OWWA active OFW members.
The ELAP is an educational assistance for one child, usually the eldest of an OWWA active member OFW who died in the jobsite, with an annual education assistance of P5,000 for elementary; P8,000 for high school; and P10,000 for college scholars.
The deadline of the submission of applications for new scholarship applicants under EDSP this year was moved from August to Dec. 31.
The qualifying examination, which is done along with the Department of Science and Technology scholarship qualifying examination, has no schedule yet.
The OWWA-Cordillera also reported assistance to returning OFWs in terms of coordination and facilitation of transportation is continuing.
From May 1 to Oct. 5, 4,293 returning OFWs were assisted in going home to their residences in the region.
Of the assisted OFWs, 618 are from Abra; 180 from Apayao; 1,652 from Baguio City; 954 from Benguet; 352 from Ifugao; 331 from Kalinga; and 206 from Mountain Province.
For financial assistance for OFWs affected by Covid-19, under DOLE’s Abot-Kamayang Pagtulong Program that provides P10,000 financial assistance, OWWA-Cordillera received 3,983 applications with 2,785 already approved.
There were 136 that were disapproved, 333 are pre-qualified beneficiaries of the Department of Social Welfare and Development; 230 applications are pending; 499 ongoing; and 2,635 have already received their cash assistance. – Carlito C. Dar