By Leslie Ann Aquino
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has allocated P1.3 billion for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) in order to address the pressing needs of workers.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said about 250,000 workers are expected to benefit from the program.
Based on Department Order 209-2020, a one-time financial assistance equivalent to P5,000 shall be provided to affected workers in lump sum, non-conditional, regardless of the employment status.
To avail of this government assistance, private establishments must submit an Establishment Report on the COVID-19, and Company Payroll for the month prior to the implementation of flexible work arrangements or temporary closure.
Effective immediately, the labor department is also rolling out P180 million emergency employment program under the Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) for some 18,000 informal sector workers.
According to Bello, the initial allocation for TUPAD will pay for barangay works to disinfect the communities, while the CAMP represents financial assistance to the quarantine displaced workers.
“There is no denying that COVID-19 has considerably changed the normal lives we have and the regular work we do,” he said in a statement.
“In this manner, the DOLE may be able to address the pressing needs of the rest of the affected workers in the quarantined areas,” Bello added.
“We shall undertake other such measures that may be necessary to help mitigate the impact of the current global health emergency,” he said.
The labor chief also echoed the call of President Duterte for 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,” Bello said.
“We earnestly request the big employers to financially help their employees to tide them over during this public emergency,” he added.
Bello also appealed to all employees to cooperate with the government and their employers to implement the necessary measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.
“We trust that, together, we will once again get through this very trying episode of our lives,” he said.