DOLE readies aid for 250,000 workers affected by COVID-19 quarantine
Robie de Guzman • March 18, 2020 • 1126
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Tuesday said it is rolling out financial assistance program for workers affected by the enhanced community quarantine being enforced in Luzon amid the threat of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In a statement, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that under the P1.3-billion COVID Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP), each worker in private establishments will receive P5,000 in cash assistance to be processed through the beneficiary’s payroll accounts.
Bello said 250,000 workers are expected to benefit from the program.
DOLE’s Department Order No. 209, which covers the guidelines for CAMP, states that workers covered by the program include retained workers having reduced working hours due to the implementation of flexible working arrangements by employers, and workers whose employment has been suspended due to the temporary shutdown of their employer’s operation.
Affected workers, regardless of employment status, will receive the one-time unconditional financial assistance in lump-sum, the guidelines stated.
In addition, DOLE will also give affected workers employment facilitation services to match their skills with available local or overseas jobs.
The department said the assistance will be given within two weeks upon the receipt of their application by DOLE regional offices.
Employers are also required to submit a report on their efforts to scale down their operations due to COVID-19 such as adopting flexible working arrangements like work from home, reduced working hours, among others.
The CAMP program does not cover government employees.
DOLE also said that an emergency employment assistance amounting to P180-million will be given to informal sector workers under the Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD).
“Effective immediately, we are rolling out a P180-million emergency employment program under TUPAD for some 18,000 informal sector workers and the P1.3-billion COVID Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) to benefit about 250,000 workers,” Bello said in a statement.
The labor chief said the initial allocation for TUPAD will pay for barangay works to disinfect the communities, while CAMP represents financial assistance to the quarantine displaced workers.
“We shall undertake other such measures that may be necessary to help mitigate the impact of the current global health emergency,” he said.
At the same time, Bello echoed President Rodrigo Duterte’s appeal to big businesses to give their share in these trying times.
“I particularly make this appeal to the owners and managements of Filipino conglomerates like SM, Ayala, Yuchengco, Aboitiz, Metro Pacific, SMC, Summit, Villar and similar groups of companies who can very well take care of their workers and employees for the duration of the enhanced community quarantine,” he said.
“Again, we earnestly request the big employers to financially help their employees to tide them over during this public emergency,” he added.
Bello also reiterated the government’s appeal to all workers to “cooperate with the government and their employers to implement the necessary measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.”
The Philippines has been placed under a state of calamity due to rising coronavirus infections.
President Rodrigo Duterte also placed the entire Luzon under enhanced community quarantine until April 12 to combat the spread of the virus.
To date, the country has 187 confirmed cases with 14 deaths and four recovered cases.
MANILA, Philippines – Luzon residents may have to endure two more weeks at home as President Rodrigo Duterte considers extending the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
In his public address on Monday evening (April 6), the President asked the public for more patience and understanding and to be more cooperative with the national government in the face of a health crisis brought about by the deadly coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“We are inclined to extend the lockdown up to April 30,” the Chief Executive announced.
“Tingnan natin after that [Let’s see after that]. In the meantime, double time kami,” he added.
The President, likewise, reiterated his call for the public to stay at home as the solution to this global pandemic is simply to “not get infected.”
He noted the sad reality of COVID-19 patients passing without having a funeral service as their remains go straight to cremation.
Duterte admitted that even the national government is getting ‘desperate’ as it has limited resources to distribute to millions of Filipinos affected by the crisis.
The President added that the P275-B budget that Congress authorized him to spend is not enough and would be gone in two months.
Thus, he asked the Department of Finance to find ways to generate revenues.
“We are finding ways to adjust the budget. We will prioritize the people, the stomach. If they have nothing to eat, a human being can become violent,” he added.
He appealed to those who have more to give to those in need and asked the Filipino people to pray for the country and the world in the face of this global pandemic.
“I am calling on the nation to come together and pay tribute to the indomitable spirit of the Filipino and unite in one prayer to God to fight our common enemy,” he concluded. MNP (with input from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – Close to 200,000 workers have already received cash aid from the government’s assistance programs to mitigate the impact of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said.
In a report, DOLE said around P622 million in assistance funds had been distributed to beneficiaries of the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP), and the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD)-Barangay ko, Bahay ko (BKBK) program.
The department said that as of April 4, Saturday, around 102,895 workers from the formal sector have received P5,000 cash assistance under CAMP while nearly 80,000 informal sector employees availed of the TUPAD BKBK program.
DOLE expressed hope to aid mode than 350,000 formal and informal sector workers by the middle of the month under its assistance programs.
The agency also said it would need another P5 billion for the remainder of the month to help more than workers who are currently struggling due to the effects of the enhanced community quarantine against coronavirus.
Based on their field monitoring reports, the number of workers in need of assistance has ballooned to over 600,000.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III earlier reiterated that DOLE’s one-time cash assistance for workers amid COVID-19 worries is different from the government’s subsidy program for low-income families to be distributed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development and other concerned agencies mandated in the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.– RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)
MANILA, Philippines – The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) will discuss on Monday whether to expand, extend or lift the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon to combat the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
IATF spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said they will submit a recommendation to President Rodrigo Duterte to decide on the matter before the ECQ ends on April 12.
Nograles assured that the recommendation on the Luzon-wide quarantine will be based on scientific data and five parameters approved by the IATF.
These parameters are the trends in the COVID-19 epidemiological curve including the deceleration and acceleration of cases; the capacity of the health care system such as availability of quarantine centers and testing capability; and social, economic, and security concerns.
Nograles issued the statement following calls from medical experts, business groups and several lawmakers to extend the quarantine for two more weeks to ensure the containment of the virus.
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the president is still studying the possibility of an extension amid the increase in the cases of infections.
To date, the Philippines has 3,246 confirmed coronavirus cases with 152 fatalities and 64 total recoveries.
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