Gov’t Allots P100-M For Crisis-Hit Workers In E. Visayas

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The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 8 (Eastern Visayas) has started the payout of the PHP100 million one-time cash assistance to private workers displaced by the pandemic under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2).

The allocation is higher than the PHP60-million budget under the Bayanihan 1, DOLE-8 senior labor and employment officer Virgilio Doroja said in an interview on Thursday.

The assistance prioritizes micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), along with other private establishments not categorized as MSMEs that applied for the PHP5,000 cash aid through its Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) on or before April 15 but did not receive the grant in the first tranche, and first-time applicants in the region.

“Not all were accommodated in the first tranche due to limited funds. But this time, the government has increased the funding for the region, covering not only those affected by total business closures but those establishments that have retrenched workforce, including those in a contracting or subcontracting agreement and centralized human resource or payroll system,” Doroja added.

Since mid-November, the field office has received applications from 1,320 establishments with 21,395 employees and conducted payout through remittance centers to at least 5,661 workers as of Wednesday.

He said employees can also directly apply through, which would be evaluated within seven working days upon receipt.

“Before, we only accept(ed) applications from the employers. However, some of them have not applied in fear that DOLE would inspect their establishments, due to lack of employment records, and discrepancies in their declared number of employees with the Bureau of Internal Revenue,” Doroja said.

The regional labor office was given until December 19 to release the fund to qualified beneficiaries through its partner money transfer service outlets, which sends a text notice to the recipient once the money is already available.

The CAMP is the department’s safety net that seeks to provide financial support to affected workers as a measure to mitigate the adverse economic impact and reduction of income during the pandemic.

Doroja said excluded in CAMP are recipients of the government’s small business wage subsidy program implemented by the Social Security System. (PNA)

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