he government has allocated over PHP1.4 billion to help over 260,000 workers in the private sector affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello IIII said emergency employment assistance amounting to PHP180 million will be given to informal sector workers under the Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Displaced/Underprivileged Workers (TUPAD).
Meanwhile, he added that about 200,000 workers are expected to benefit from the cash assistance amounting to PHP1.3 billion under the Covid Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP).
“Effective immediately, we are rolling out a PHP180-million emergency employment program under TUPAD for some 16,000 informal sector workers and the P1.3-billion Covid Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) to benefit about 250,000 workers,” Bello said in a statement.
Bello said the initial allocation for TUPAD will pay for barangay works to disinfect the communities, while the CAMP represents financial assistance to workers displaced by the community quarantine.
Based on the Department Order 209 signed by Bello on March 17, each affected worker will receive PHP5,000.
“Section 1. Financial Support. This component shall provide affected workers with financial relief necessary to mitigate the immediate adverse economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Relative to DOLE Labor Advisory. No. 11 Series of 2020, which states that workers' leaves of absence during the quarantine period are to be charged against their leave credits, the financial assistance may be used to cover remaining unpaid leaves of affected workers. A one-time financial of employment assistance equivalent to PHP5,000 shall be provided to affected workers in lump sum, non-conditional, regardless of employment status,” according to the order.
It added that the CAMP is a safety net program that provides support to affected workers in private establishments that have adopted FWA (flexible work arrangement) or temporary closure during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The CAMP aims to provide financial support to affected workers in private establishments to mitigate the adverse economic impacts and reduction of income brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. The CAMP shall cover workers in private establishments affected by the Covid-19 pandemic from its onset in January 2020 until the lifting of the Stringent Social Distancing Measures in the National Capital Region on 14 April 2020, unless extended by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases. Large establishments are highly encouraged to cover the full wage of employees within the one-month community quarantine period,” it added.
The program does not cover government employees.
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. Again, we earnestly request the big employers to financially help their employees to tide them over during this public emergency,” he added.
He also asked the cooperation of the employees with the guidelines set by the government and their employers to ensure their health and safety, and to contain the spread of the deadly virus.
“We also reiterate our appeal to all employees to cooperate with the government and their employers to implement the necessary measures to contain the spread of Covid-19,” Bello said.
On Monday, Duterte placed the whole of Luzon under enhanced community quarantine until April 12 to help stop the spread of Covid-19.
As of Tuesday, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country rose to 187, with four recovered cases and 12 deaths.
Source: Philippines News Agency