The Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) has extended assistance to more than 18,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who returned or were repatriated to the country in the past four months.
The agency said the 18,577 OFWs were aided by its Assist Well program from December 2016 to March 2017.
The program aims to respond to the OFWs’ welfare, employment, livelihood and legal needs.
The National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) said 8,770 of the Filipino workers came from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, followed by Taiwan with 1,829 workers.
The agency provided counseling, airport assistance, temporary accommodation, emergency medical assistance and transport assistance to the workers.
There were 3,419 OFWs who were aided in filing complaints against their employers and local agencies through the National Labor Relations Commission, Dole legal service and the National Conciliation and Mediation Board.
The Filipino workers were also oriented on how to avail of livelihood and entrepreneurial programs offered by the Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns and the NRCO.
Seventy-five OFWs who opted for local employment were referred to local companies by the Bureau of Local Employment, while 444 were given scholarships, training and certification by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
On the other hand, 996 OFWs opted for overseas employment and were referred to recruitment agencies for assistance in deployment.