OWWA partners with NTT DATA to launch cash aid for OFWs
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, over a million of overseas Filipino workers – among the largest expat workforce in the world whose remittances account for 10 percent of the country's GDP – have been displaced and have become unemployed.
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration responded to the people’s call for help through the DOLE-AKAP (Abot Kamay ang Patulong) initiative which provides a one-time financial assistance of P10,000 or $200 to displaced land-based and sea-based OFWs.
OWWA, which has previously partnered with NTT DATA to start its digital transformation journey using Microsoft Azure, the government agency was able to provide fast, secure, and contactless financial assistance for displaced OFWs through the DOLE-AKAP portal.
NTT DATA Philippines was one of the organizations recently recognized by Microsoft Community Response Award – a new global award category that recognizes partner organizations providing innovative support or services to customers and the community.
Beating 3,000 entries from 100 countries, NTT Data bagged the award which this year acknowledges innovative solutions to the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Philippines’ OFWs embody the heart and soul of the nation: resilience and sacrifice. They contribute so much to the Philippines and through this program we are able to support them in return. We are privileged to be of service and empower our modern-day heroes during these challenging times,” said Andres Ortola, country general manager of Microsoft Philippines.
“I’m proud of our stellar IT team led by Rosanna Siray and Joseph John Padilla, and our indispensable administrative units that provided support services to set up real-time electronic application, evaluation, and database systems to support the DOLE-AKAP financial assistance program for our OFWs,” said OWWA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac.
Pocholo Reyes, CEO of NTT DATA Philippines said: “I am extremely proud of our team, and the partnerships with OWWA and Microsoft that made this possible. We’ve seen and heard how so many of our modern heroes have lost their livelihood due to this global COVID-19 pandemic, so we have been equally inspired to do our part as a technology partner and our commitment to our nation to help OWWA deliver a safe and reliable financial assistance application portal to our OFWs and their families as well.”
“The global COVID-19 pandemic has left an indelible impact in our society today, and we recognize the enormous role of technology in helping us respond and adapt. We are eager to continue collaborating with Microsoft to contribute to the success of our customers especially during these challenging times,” Reyes added.
Within three days of the launch, OWWA received 54,000 online applications through the DOLE AKAP portal.
OWWA IT personnel were also able to configure, deploy the application, and modify updates remotely using DevOps and Azure, providing flexibility at an instant with minimal downtime.