By Malu Cadelina Manar
KIDAPAWAN CITY – The regional office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Soccsksargen has already released some P9 million as assistance for workers in the private sector who were displaced during the lockdown imposed because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
DOLE-12 Regional Director Sisinio Cano said close to 2,000 displaced workers have already availed of the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) in at least nine areas in Region 12.
In North Cotabato, at least 900 workers received the cash through their remittance partner MLhuiller.
Employees who could avail of CAMP include those working as regular or permanent, on probationary status; contractual, or employed in private establishments whose operations were affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cano said the employers must accomplish the revised Establishment Report Form (ERF), along with the company payroll for the month of February or earlier.
He clarified the application was being done online to avoid exposure to the virus.
“We want this done immediately. Once we have the needed requirements, we will release the assistance through money transfer,” he stressed.
Cano said the funds were already available.
Aside from CAMP, Cano said their agency was also helping workers in the informal sectors avail of the Tulong Pangkabuhayan Alang sa mga Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD).
The agency, he explained, has linked with the local government through its Public Employment Services Office (PESO).
In Kidapawan City, PESO manager Herminia Infanta said among those who can avail of TUPAD were ambulant vendors, construction workers, tricycle drivers, and flower vendors.
Infanta has asked barangay officials to stay neutral in selecting who among their constituents can avail of TUPAD.
“This is not time for politicking. We are in an emergency situation. Choose the right individuals based on how affected they were and not because they supported you during the elections,” said Infanta.