PHP1B for distressed workers abroad

PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo Duterte was reported to have approved for a PHP1-billion budget to assist distressed Filipinos abroad in 2018, from previous PHP600 million.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) expects to start implementing “liberal” guidelines for the provision of assistance to nationals (ATN) to all overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in distress by next year.���
Raul Dado, DFA Executive Director for Migrant Workers Affairs, said Friday the new guidelines are up for review by Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano.��
Dado said the Department will also seek comment from Malacañang which will provide implementation guidance to implementing agencies.���
“Within this year should be timetable for that. So that when New Year comes, we have additional funds for ATN, (new) guidelines for implementation,” he said in an interview on Thursday.
Dado added: “It’s going to be more liberal, easier for us to fund repatriations, legal cases, evacuations during emergencies, all these problems of our OFWs,” he added.���
In 2016, a total of 16,630 overseas Filipinos in distress were assisted.
Some PHP308.50 million was spent on overseas Filipinos in distress.��
This number includes recipients of the ATN fund, walk-ins and referrals, and those who availed of mass repatriation.

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