Gatchalian pushes for P5K aid for private workers displaced by COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sherwin Gatchalian is pushing for the release of funds which would provide workers in private companies who were displaced by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with financial assistance worth P5,000.
Gatchalian said there are P1.3 billion funds available under the COVID Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP).
However, Gatchalian said the assistance can only be released within two weeks once all the applications of beneficiaries is received at the regional offices of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
“The problem with government is red tape and we need to release the funds now. Hindi na natin dapat pinaghihintay pa ang mga apektadong empleyado dahil kapag hindi natin kaagad maibigay yan, baka bukas makalawa makita natin sila uli sa mga kalsada para maghanap ng kitang iuuwi sa kanilang mga pamilya” Gatchalian said in a statement.
(We should not make affected workers wait because if we don’t give it right away, maybe we will eventually find them in the streets looking for means to earn for their families.)
Local government units (LGUs) can also be utilized in helping the labor department identify workers who are qualified under the program.
Likewise, Gatchalian urged DOLE to ensure that requirements for beneficiaries will only be minimal.
“Kailangang makipag-uganayan ang DOLE sa LGUs dahil sa ganitong paraan ay mas mapapabilis na, mas magiging epektibo pa ang pamimigay ng ayuda sa ating mga kababayang nawalan ng trabaho”, Gatchalian said.
(DOLE needs to coordinate with LGUs because in this way, distrbution of assistance to our displaced workers will be faster and more effective.)
According to DOLE Department Order No. 209, CAMP “shall cover workers in private establishments affected by the COVID-19 pandemic from its onset in January 2020 until the lifting of the Stringent Social Distancing Measures in the National Capital Region on 14 April 2020, unless extended by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.”
Government employees, however, are not covered by the program.
Gatchalian, who serves as vice-chairman of the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs, is also proposing a “bridge loan package” for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
“Ang isa ko pang mungkahi ay isang loan package fund sa mga negosyante natin, lalo na yung mga maliliit na negosyante, para may maipang sweldo sila sa kanilang mga empleyado”, Gatchalian added.
(My suggestion is for a loan package fund available for small and medium enterprises so that they have available funds to compensate their employees.)
Further, the senator said that DOLE will also give workers in the informal sector emergency employment assistance.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier placed the entire Luzon under enhanced community quarantine as a part of the government’s effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Under the enhanced community quarantine, “strict home quarantine shall be implemented in all households; transportation shall be suspended; provision for food and essential services shall be regulated, and heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce quarantine procedures will be implemented.”
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