DMW Secretary Susan "Toots" Ople (File photo)

MANILA – Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople on Thursday said the DMW is allocating a PHP20-million support and assistance fund for families of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) affected by the recent magnitude 7 earthquake that hit Northern Luzon.

“This is just an initial allotment to help OFW families affected by the earthquake. I have directed the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to immediately provide help and find out what other forms of assistance the DMW can provide,” Ople said.

“We will wait for the damage assessment report made by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to determine which regions and areas are most affected so we can prioritize OFW families there,” Ople added.

The DMW Secretary said she is also in discussion with the Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG Fund to facilitate emergency loan applications of OFW families affected by the earthquake.

Ople said affected families applying for DMW financial assistance can file their applications with the nearest OWWA office in their regions.

They only need to show proof that at least one member of the family is an OFW currently deployed overseas, she said.

Once verified, the applications shall be endorsed for financial assistance. The one-time allocation can be used for food, medicines, groceries, water, or any items the OFW family needs immediately. (DMW PR)