By Argyll Geducos
Some P3.013 billion was given to 602,722 employees under the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE’s) COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) for Affected Formal Workers, President Duterte wrote in his seventh weekly report to Congress Monday.
A total of 73,352 overseas Filipino workers have benefited from DOLE’s CAMP Abot-Kamay and Pagtulong (AKAP) for Displaced OFWs. To date, DOLE has utilized P750 million of the P1.5 billion allotted for this program.
DOLE has distributed P1.135 billion for its Tulong Panghanapbuhay para sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) for 299,156 informal workers.
Emergency cash aid
The President reported that as of last Friday (May 8), almost 14.3 million families have already received the emergency cash aid from the government.
However, as of Monday (May 11), the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) updated data showed that 15.87 million beneficiaries or 88.16 percent of the 18 million low-income families targeted to receive the emergency subsidy under the government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP) have received their cash aid from the first tranche.
The President also reported that as of May 8, the DSWD, under its Assistance to Individuals in Crisis (AICS) Program, has distributed cash assistance to 3,921,378 members of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), 10,292,310 non-4Ps members, and 40,418 drivers of transport network vehicle service (TNVS) and public utility vehicles (PUVs) in the National Capital Region (NCR).
Duterte added that the next set of payouts for the TNVS and PUVs in NCR will be released this week. The list of the driver beneficiaries will be updated for verification by the local chief executives.
The President also said the DSWD was finalizing the new guidelines for the estimated five million waitlisted families, and undertaking steps to validate the lists of waitlisted families through cross-matching with available databases.
Duterte also reported that 415,000 rice farmers received cash aid from the Department of Agriculture’s (DA’s) Financial Subsidy for Rice Farmers (FRSF) program as of May 5. Some P2.956 billion has been transferred to government financial institutions.
President Duterte’s report stated that the Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) program was more efficient in distributing cash aid to formal workers using the records and systems of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Social Security System (SSS).
As of May 6, P10.1 billion in cash grants has been released by the SSS to 1,261,044 SBWS beneficiaries. More than 101,400 have submitted applications and around 2.2 million employees have been approved as of May 7.
Meanwhile, around 27 tour guides and horse-drawn carriage (kalesa) drivers accredited by the Department of Tourism (DOT) have qualified for the National Commission for Culture and the Arts Assistance Program for Artists and Cultural Workers under the State of Calamity.
The program provides a one-time P5,000 cash aid to displaced cultural workers affected by the pandemic.
The Nayong Pilipino Foundation’s Damayan sa Nayon project similarly provides a short-term amelioration program for its stakeholders.
With P3 billion in funds, the Land Bank of the Philippines recently launched its ACADEME (Access to Academic Development to Empower the Masses towards Endless opportunities) lending program to assist private schools, universities, colleges, and technical-vocational and education training institutes with a fixed 3-percent rate interest for the entire term of the loan.
Last week, Duterte reported that the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has processed the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) of 120,798 grantees enrolled in private higher educational institutions amounting to P3.6 billion.
The TES amounting to P480 million for 33 state universities and colleges (SUCs) and 18 local universities and colleges (LUCs) have been processed for release.