P5 billion aid for workers OK’d

MANILA, Philippines, April 8 ------ The labor department will get P5 billion in additional funding for programs designed to help formal sector workers affected by the Luzon-wide lockdown. Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases approved the aid package for formal sector workers through Resolution No. 21 issued on Monday. “The recommendations of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for the social amelioration program for the formal workers’ sector as presented are hereby approved,” Nograles, spokesman for IATF, said at a press briefing yesterday. “For this purpose, the IATF supports the approval and immediate release of the requested budget by the Department of Labor and Employment amounting to P5 billion,” he added. Nograles said the outlay would fund the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) adjustment measures program (CAMP) for affected overseas and local workers, Tulong Panghanapbuhay for Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD) sanitation project and the Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) sa OFWs program. CAMP provides P5,000 each to workers whose company operations were affected by the lockdown. TUPAD provides emergency employment for displaced workers, underemployed and seasonal workers while AKAP aims to provide relief to migrant workers. Nograles said the cash assistance is different from the emergency subsidy program of the social welfare department, which seeks to help informal sector workers and low-income households. Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said undocumented overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) displaced by the pandemic would received P10,000 in financial assistance from the government. Bello said the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) could now start processing the assistance. Source: philstar.com