By Leslie Ann G. Aquino
Defend Jobs Philippines said the the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) must first report to workers and the people how the billions of public funds were spent and distributed before starting new rounds of salary subsidy, cash assistance measures or programs.
The labor group said this in reaction to news reports that the Labor department is planning to subsidize around 20 to 25 percent of the workers’ minimum wage to aid employers under small, medium, and micro businesses in order for them not to terminate their employees in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We demand and we deserve transparency from DOLE and our government. In order to account [for] every single centavo of DOLE’s COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP), Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD) program and Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) OFW programs, we urge DOLE and its partner government agencies to publish all the names of its beneficiaries and not just the list of companies who benefited from its previous programs on its website and social media accounts,” Thadeus Ifurung, Defend Jobs Philippines spokesperson, said in a statement.
He said majority of the workforce affected by the COVID-19 pandemic did not receive any assistance from DOLE’s CAMP and TUPAD programs.
Defend Jobs Philippines said that posting names of the beneficiaries online can serve as fact-checking and verification mechanisms of our workers.
The group said that new programs of DOLE in giving aid to workers must be “inclusive, non-selective, and easily accessible” to all workers especially to those who are covered by a “no work, no pay” policy.
According to Defend Jobs Philippines, around 11 million to 18 million workers have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic across the country.