On Tuesday the officials of OWWA announced that more funds have been allocated for the implementation of programs for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Administrator Hans Cacdac said the OWWA’s Board of Trustees headed by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has approved the agency’s budget of P2.19 billion for 2017.
“The budget of OWWA for next year is 16 percent higher compared to last year and this is packed with several programs for OFWs,” Cacdac said.
“This is also the first time that part of OWWA’s budget will come from the General Appropriations Act approved by Congress,” he added.
Cacdac said P413 million of the budget would be allocated for the salaries and other benefits of OWWA employees.
A total of P1.780 million will come from the OWWA’s capital fund.
The amount is 63 percent of the projected P2.84-million OWWA income in 2017, Cacdac said.
He said the bulk or 81 percent of the budget would be used by the Philippine overseas welfare offices and OWWA’s regional offices for the welfare of OFWs and their families.
The OWWA allocated a bigger budget of P21.33 million for welfare assistance for OFWs for 2017 compared to this year’s budget of P13 million, while repatriation assistance increased to P30.09 million from P26.75 million.
Next year’s budget for reintegration services also rose by 75 percent, from P116 million in 2016 to P203.41 million in 2017. Half of the amount will be used for the “Balik Pilipinas, Balik Hanapbuhay” program, Cacdac said.
Funding for livelihood assistance for the families of OFWs who died abroad went up from P21 million to P37.5 million.
The OWWA board also approved some P75 million for the deployment of additional welfare officers to countries with large concentrations of OFWs.