DOLE raring to implement aid to labor under Bayanihan 2

Published October 30, 2020, 9:57 PM

by Hanah Tabios

The labor department said Friday that it would immediately implement the cash assistance for the pandemic-hit workers under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2). 

Labor Undersecretary Joji Aragon said around P13 billion has been allocated for the implementation of the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP), Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD), and Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) programs.

Once released by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), P6 billion will go to the TUPAD or the cash for work program which will benefit 863,867 workers. 

The government will spend P5 billion cash assistance for the displaced workers in the formal sector, according to Aragon.

“Ito ho iyong mga na-displace o naapektuhan whether ito ay flexible work arrangement or temporarily closed ang kanilang mga establisyimento o kaya naman ho ay permanently closed ang kanilang mga maliliit na kumpanya,” she said during the Laging Handa public briefing.

“Sila ho ay makakatanggap out of the 13 billion ng limang bilyong piso at ito ho ay mabibenepisyuhan ang 993,432 workers,” she added. 

The remaining P2 billion will be distributed to the 200,000 repatriated Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) under the AKAP program. 

“Kahit na rin po iyong mga OFWs natin na nasa abroad at hindi naman ho makaalis dahil sila ho ay pinaplano na ang pag-uwi nila, makakatanggap din ho nito,” she added, citing that the financial assistance program will roll out early next week. 

The labor undersecretary also revealed that an additional P1 billion has been allocated to DOLE to aid college students who are dependents of Filipino migrant workers with a one-time scholarship grant worth P30,000.

She also added that 616,000 tourism workers, including tour guides, will also benefit from the joint program of the DOLE and the Department of Tourism (DOT) to hasten the recovery of the sector. An amount of P3 billion has been allocated for this under the Bayanihan 2. 

The second tranche of the Bayanihan measure is worth P165.5 billion.

But senators had earlier called on the DBM to fast track the distribution of the financial assistance as the agency had only released a total of P77.98 billion to date out of the total allocation.