DBM allocates P15.3B to provide more support to Filipino migrant workers

Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman has announced the government’s allocation of P15.3 billion in the FY 2024 proposed national budget for the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) to deliver more substantial assistance and projects for Filipino migrant workers.

“Sa ilalim ng pamumuno ni Pangulong Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., hinding-hindi po pababayaan ng ating pamahalaan ang kapakanan ng ating mga migrant workers. They are our heroes. Dapat lang na sila po ay matulungan at maalalayan, lalo na sa panahon ng krisis. Katuwang po nila kami sa DBM. Katuwang po nila ang pamahalaan,” Secretary Pangandaman emphasized.

Pangandaman said that included in the budget proposal for next year is the funding for the OWWA Emergency Repatriation Program (ERP) with an allocation of P9.7 billion to assist OFWs who are forcibly repatriated.

Another P1.2 billion was allocated for the Agarang Kalinga at Saklolo para sa mga OFW na Nangangailangan (AKSYON) Fund which provides legal, medical, financial and other forms of assistance to OFWs, including repatriation, shipment of remains, evacuation, rescue, and any other analogous help or intervention to protect the rights of Filipino nationals.

To cater primarily to the healthcare needs of OFWs and their qualified dependents, P13 million was dedicated for the OFW Hospital and Diagnostic Center.

These projects are aligned with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s commitment to promote the interests of Filipino migrant workers and protect them in crisis situations.

More assistance for migrant workers chargeable against OWWA Fund The Balik Pinas, Balik Hanapbuhay Program (BPBH) was given a P9 million increase, receiving P440.115 million.

The BPBH is a package of livelihood support intended to provide immediate relief to returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

The program provides entrepreneurship development training and cash assistance amounting to P20,000 as start-up or additional capital.

An additional P227.995 million was allocated for the Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-Unlad ng Samahang-OFWs (TULONG PUSO) which grants assistance to support the formation, enhancement, or restoration of livelihood projects of OFW organizations.

Families of OFWs will also be empowered with viable business enterprises that will provide them with a steady income stream, as P18 million was dedicated to the OFW Enterprise Development and Loan Program (EDLP).

Mandated by Republic Act No. 10801, the EDLP is an enterprise development intervention of OWWA in partnership with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), which also allows the families of OFWs to create employment opportunities in their community.