The pandemic has created different kinds of ‘shifts’ for Filipinos all over the world. For some who were fortunate enough to keep their jobs, there is a ‘shift’ in the kind of approach to doing their work such as longer or shorter hours and new albeit different processes in doing things.
However, for those who were not fortunate enough to keep their jobs, a shift in perspective. Now is the time to explore doing new things, creating opportunities for oneself, or finding an old passion in a different field. And the good news is, the Philippine government is right there to offer their support to displaced OFWs – through the initiative of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) such as that in Singapore.
Jobs, Livelihood Opportunities to be Offered by POLO SG for Displaced OFWs
In an announcement by the POLO in Singapore, Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 outbreak may seek local employment or benefit from the Department of Labor and Employment’s livelihood package (DOLE).
DOLE Assistant Secretary Dominique Tutay emphasized this during a webinar held last Monday (July 5) in Singapore by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) and attended by more than 100 OFWs. According to Tutay, there are employment openings in the business process outsourcing, information technology, manufacturing, and construction sectors that can be filled by repatriated OFWs.
“The Information Technology-Business Process Management (IT-BPM) sector is one of the biggest employment creators in the country and it is ready to give OFWs a fresh start upon their return to the Philippines. About 35,000 vacancies in 38 IT-BPM firms are available for OFWs who wish to shift career to the sector. Around 8,000 repatriated OFWs have been offered jobs in the sector to work as customer service, sales and IT support staff; app developer and bookkeeper.” Tutay said.
The COVID-19 epidemic had an impact on the four pillars of Decent Work, which are job creation, workplace rights, access to social protection, and social dialogue. Tutay said that the Philippine government made changes to its programs to alleviate the pandemic’s negative impact on employees, including our OFWs.
Meanwhile, Roel Martin, OIC-Director of the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO), stated that returning displaced OFWs may be eligible for a livelihood incentive of up to Php20,000 under the Balik-Pinas, Balik-Hanapbuhay Program. OFWs who join associations can also apply for a livelihood grant of up to Php1 million under the Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-Unlad ng Samahang OFWs (Tulong-Puso). OFWs who receive a livelihood grant can build up micro and small companies of their choice, according to Martin.