A total of 204,095 Returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) have arrived in the country. A total of 99,516 OFWs have been assisted with onward transportation through the government’s Hatid-Tulong Program. However, about 9,000 locally stranded individuals (LSIs) – which include stranded workers, tourists and students – still await COVID testing before being allowed to return to their places of origin.
On 28 July, the senate passed the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, allotting PHP 140B for the government’s pandemic response and economic recovery e!orts. Among the programs covered are employment and training programs speci"cally for displaced OFWs.
COORDINATION AND PARTNERSHIPS
• IOM continues to coordinate with government frontline agencies the Department of Foreign A"airs, the Department of Labor (DOLE), the Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to enhance capacity towards safe and digni"ed interventions for migrants and mobile populations a!ected by COVID-19.
• Under IOM Philippines’ Prepare, Prevent, Protect (PPP) COVID-19 response programme, IOM is supporting government e!orts to safeguard vulnerable displaced populations in Mindanao with the support of US Agency for International Development / Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, the British Embassy in Manila, and the New Zealand Embassy. In the reporting period, IOM held discussions with Mayors in three municipalities of Cotabato Province and six municipalities of Davao del Sur to ensure IOM’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM), Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) and socio-economic support programming complements the approach of the local government.
• IOM remains active in the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) and Mindanao Humanitarian Team (MHT), in addition to co-leading the CCCM Cluster with the Philippines’ Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).