Bello: Gov’t now implementing P13-B assistance to workers displaced by COVID-19

Published November 11, 2020, 1:20 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The government has started to implement the P13-billion worth of assistance programs for workers displaced by the coronavirus pandemic.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III (ROBINSON NIÑAL JR. / PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III informed President Duterte that his department initiated the labor-related program aimed at supporting workers, citing the emergency employment project in typhoon-hit Catanduanes Tuesday.

The fund allocation of these programs for displaced workers is sourced from the Bayanihan 2 law recently signed by the President.

“Mr. President, ready na po kami na i-payout ‘yung ibinigay niyo na sa amin na 13 billion, to include ‘yung P3 billion from the tourism at saka 300 million sa teachers ‘yung mga non-teaching position (Mr. President, we are ready for the payout of the P13 billion you’ve given us to include P3 billion for the tourism (sector) and P300 million for teachers and non-teaching personnel),” Bello said during a meeting with the President and other Cabinet members at the Malago clubhouse in Malacañang Park Tuesday.

He noted that the P1 billion allocation in education assistance for the family of overseas Filipino workers will also be disbursed. Under this package, he said one college student per displaced OFW will be given financial aid.

“Kanina nga with Senator Bong Go, Secretary Bautista, nag-payout na po kami sa Virac, Catanduanes including Bato, Catanduanes, Mr. President, doon sa TUPAD, Mr. President (Earlier, we started the payout in Virac, Catanduanes including Bato, Mr. President, together with Senator Bong Go, (Social Welfare) Secretary (Rolando) Bautista, the TUPAD program),” Bello said.

The Department of Budget and Management recently released P13.1 billion to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to bankroll various programs and projects for workers affected by the pandemic.

In a report to Congress on the Bayanihan 2 implementation, the President said DOLE interventions include the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP), a one-time financial support of P5,000 to affected workers in the formal sector. Covered by the program are the 616,000 tourism workers as well as 59,700 teaching and non-teaching personnel affected by the pandemic.

A total of 200,000 OFW beneficiaries will be covered by DOLE’s Abot-Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) Program with a budget of P2 billion. The P4-billion Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD), a community-based emergency employment program, will benefit around 574,379 informal sector workers, according to the President’s report.

 
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