OFWs in Singapore relieved to get unemployment aid

Photo Credit: Philippines Embassy, Singapore

DOLE – Filipino workers in Singapore who were displaced from their jobs due to the COVID-19 crisis received unemployment benefit assistance from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) and the Social Security System in the city-state.

The OFWs were issued with a Certificate of Involuntary Separation, a requirement for qualified OFW SSS members to claim the benefit.

The SSS unemployment benefit is a cash assistance that covers unemployed workers, including OFWs, who were involuntarily separated from employment due to redundancy, retrenchment, downsizing, installation of labor-saving devices, closure or cessation of operation, among others.

To be eligible for the unemployment benefit, workers must be SSS members who are not more than 60 years old at the time of involuntary separation; and have paid at least 36 monthly contributions, 12 months of which should be in the 18 months immediately preceding the month of involuntary separation.

A qualified OFW SSS member is entitled to receive the amount equivalent to the member’s average monthly salary credit (AMSC). The benefit is a one-time grant and should be availed of within one year from the date of involuntary separation.

Meanwhile, a total of 1,875 OFWs in the city state who are employed in industries adversely affected by the pandemic received DOLE’s AKAP.

The assisted OFW beneficiaries were among those terminated, placed on unpaid leave status, or suffered from at least 25% salary cuts as a result of the global pandemic. They were each granted US$200.00.

A separate 75 COVID-infected OWWA-member OFWs in Singapore have each received one-time financial assistance of US$200.00 from OWWA Singapore. The cash grant is intended to aid in the recovery of COVID-19 positive OFWs who were unable to work because of their infection and as a consequence suffered from income loss.

The OWWA cash assistance program complements the DOLE-AKAP financial assistance to OFWs whose employment was adversely impacted by COVID-19.

POLO-Singapore has so far released a total of US$360,000.00 for the program.

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