The Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) is working double time to distribute the P16.4-billion assistance allocated for workers displaced by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic before the Dec. 18 deadline.
DoLE Undersecretary Renato Ebarle said Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III has ordered them to hasten the distribution.
“We were instructed by the Secretary to make sure that the release is hastened and have them completed before Dec. 18. Otherwise, we should already prepare our letters of resignation,” he said in an online forum.
“I don’t know if the Secretary was serious when he gave the directive to us during a meeting,” added Ebarle.
So far, the Labor official said they have already downloaded 93 percent of the P16.4-billion budget to their regional offices.
“We are now expediting their release to the beneficiaries through different remittance centers,” Ebarle said.
The amount has been allocated for the recovery programs COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) for formal sector, Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) for informal sector, and the Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) program for overseas Filipino workers.
On Dec. 8, the Labor department will hold a nationwide and international simultaneous payout to extend assistance to as many beneficiaries as possible.
“It’s international and nationwide because 16 regions will participate with the awarding tomorrow,” sais Ebarle.
“Our Singapore POLO (Philippine Overseas Labor Office) office as well as in Hong Kong and Dubai will also have a payout for AKAP,” he added.
The payout is part of the celebration of the 87th anniversary of DoLE.
Part of the celebration is an online job fair in which more than 20,000 jobs are up for grabs for jobseekers.
The Labor department is adopting a virtual job fair system in compliance with government restrictions on mass gatherings.
To access the online job fair on December 10 and 11, applicants may visit the POEA website at www.poea.gov.ph.