PRRD: Cultural workers, artists also to receive gov’t aid

Published May 11, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Genalyn Kabiling

Tour guides and horse-drawn carriage drivers displaced by the coronavirus-related quarantine will be among the workers to receive financial aid from the government.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers a speech during the Annual General Membership Meeting of the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association Inc. at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on January 21, 2020. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

In his latest weekly report to Congress Monday, President Duterte said displaced cultural workers will each be given a one-time P5,000 subsidy to cope with the latest public health emergency.

“Around 27 Department of Tourism-accredited tour guides and horse-drawn carriage (kalesa) drivers have qualified for the National Commission for Culture and the Arts Assistance Program for Artists and Cultural Workers which seeks to provide a one-time P5,000 financial aid to displaced cultural workers affected by the COVID-19 outbreak,” he said.

He said Nayong Pilipino Foundation has also launched a short-term amelioration program called Damayan sa Nayon to help similarly situated artists and cultural workers.

The President also updated Congress about the government’s other social amelioration programs for workers affected by the quarantine measures.

He said the Department of Labor and Employment has spent P3 billion to extend a one-time cash assistance to 602,722 formal workers affected by the quarantine measures. Another P1.1 billon has been used to provide emergency employment to 299,156 informal workers.

The labor department has so far used P750 million in the financial aid program for 73,352 overseas Filipino workers.

As of May 6, Duterte said the Social Security System has released P10.1 billion to help 1.2 million employee-beneficiaries under the small business wage subsidy program.

“I note more than 101,400 employers have submitted applications, and around 2.2 million employees (or 65 percent of the target 3.4 million beneficiaries) have been approved as of 7 May,” Duterte said.