DOLE-Bicol offices set up desks for gov’t cash aid

Due to the still low turnout of online applications in the government’s cash assistance programs, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) provincial offices in Bicol have decided to set up desks to help walk-in applicants to sign up online.

DOLE Bicol director Joel Gonzales announced on Thursday that their provincial offices decided to adopt the scheme when online applications remain low due to lack of electricity and unstable internet signal as typhoons damaged electric and telecommunication facilities in the region.

However, Gonzales clarified they are only facilitating and assisting the walk-in applicants in their online application.

“Although we allow them to come in person to our provincial offices, they will still apply online. Our personnel is there to help them in applying online,” Gonzales told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Johanna Vi Gasga, DOLE Bicol spokesperson, said as of Wednesday, at least 3,800 persons received the cash assistance of PHP5,000 per beneficiary amounting to PHP19-million from the Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP).

Aside from CAMP-DOLE, 1,273 workers from the tourism sector received PHP5,000 each, for a total amount of PHP7.37-million; while 108 displaced workers from the education sector (both from government and private) also received PHP5,000 each or a total of PHP542,160.

CAMP-DOLE is targeting 30,023 beneficiaries; CAMP-tourism, 12,788 workers from the tourism industry; and, CAMP-education 725 displaced workers in the education sector, that may come from the public or private schools, Gasga said.

She said some 6,982 beneficiaries had already received PHP5,000 each with the total amount of PHP24.149-million from the Tulong Panghanap Buhay Para sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers or TUPAD program.

Another 790 displaced overseas Filipino workers in Bicol had already received cash aid of PHP10,000 each for a total amount of PHP7.9-million under DOLE-AKAP.

Displaced OFWs abroad may apply in the country where they are still working through the Philippine Overseas Labor Office.

Gasga said with the help desks in DOLE Bicol’s provincial offices, online applications to qualify from the government’s various cash aid programs would be faster.

She added that the cash disbursements in CAMP, TUPAD, and AKAP programs are still relatively low compared to the set target beneficiaries for Bicol.

As of Dec. 2, Gasga said that only 12.65 percent of the target recipients in CAMP-DOLE had received the cash aid; 14.8 percent in CAMP-education; and 9.9 percent in CAMP-tourism. The three CAMP programs have a total 43,537 target beneficiaries.

In TUPAD, also merely 17.45 percent of the total target beneficiaries of 40,000 displaced informal workers had availed of the cash assistance, Gasga added.

Gasga said DOLE Bicol is encouraging workers displaced by the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent typhoons that hit Bicol to avail of the government cash assistance by applying to DOLE’s website:

Source: Philippines News agency

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