Labor secretary says P2.6B in funding for wage subsidies already gone
CITY OF ILAGAN, Isabela—The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has already used up the P2.6 billion given to the department for COVID-19 wage subsidies and is asking other government agencies to provide money to workers who didn’t get any.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said on Monday (April 27) that the money which was given his department for the so-called COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP), the official nomenclature of cash aid to workers displaced by lockdowns, is already gone.
The Luzon-wide lockdown, meant to stem the transmission of coronavirus, displaced 1.2 million workers nationwide, including at least 75,189 workers from Cagayan Valley, or Region 2.
CAMP pays out P5,000 per displaced worker, which was insufficient so DOLE would transfer its list of beneficiaries to the Department of Finance (DOF) and Social Security System (SSS), which has a Small Business Subsidy program, according to Bello. The SSS website through which applications for wage subsidy could be filed, however, has been down.
“We wrote Congress for a replenishment of funds but the ball is in its court,” he said.
Bello added that his department would ensure that no worker would receive twice the cash aid, or duplication, because “we have a a data-sharing system.”
He said the DOLE shares data with other departments like social welfare, trade and industry and agriculture to make sure beneficiaries received aid.
Bello urged Big Business to continue paying salaries of workers who can’t leave their homes to report for work because of the lockdown. He said doing so would “tide them over during the crisis.”
Tens of thousands of workers have yet to receive CAMP funds.
Edited by TSB
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