DOLE expedites assistance to workers

Published April 7, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Leslie Ann Aquino

To assist more workers affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said it will continue processing applications for financial assistance even during this Holy Week.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III (ROBINSON NIÑAL JR./Presidential Photo / MANILA BULLETIN)
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III

“Field offices will continue processing establishment reports even during the Holy Week to speed up the processing of assistance,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in a statement.

He said they also entered into an agreement with Land Bank for the expeditious release and remittance of funds through their branches and automated teller machines (ATMs) nationwide.

Earlier the labor chief urged employers to apply for the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) for the sake of their workers.

The CAMP is a safety net program which offers one time P5,000 financial support to employees of companies or business establishments that have adopted flexible work arrangements or temporary closure due to the COVID 19 pandemic.

Bello also revealed that they are already easing up on the requirements.

“We are no longer strictly requiring the submission of the company payroll in the establishment report,” he said.

The labor chief said any proof of payment of salaries and wages will be sufficient compliance with the requirement.
To encourage more companies to submit, Bello assured that no information given by employers in the submission of establishment reports will be disclosed to the public or used against them in the future.

The DOLE adopted the said measures in view of the decision of President Duterte to extend the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon until April 30.

Bello said the DOLE is awaiting the approval by the President of the recommendation of the Inter Agency Task Force for additional funding for its various assistance programs as the CAMP, the Tulong Panghanapbuhay para was Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers-Barangay Ko Bahay Ko (TUPAD #BKBK) for the informal sector workers; and the P10,000 assistance to affected OFWs, documented or undocumented, who are stranded overseas or have been repatriated.

With the additional funding, Bello said they hope to aid all 715,000 workers whose employers numbering close to 30,000 had applied for financial assistance under CAMP.

“We are ready to process more requests if more establishments will submit their reports,” he said.

Bello said with the funding, the TUPAD #BKBK shall be able to finance the emergency work of 700,000 in the informal sector.

The two programs, he said, have already benefitted 440,000 workers to date.