Central Luzon gets extension to distribute cash aid
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—Social workers in Central Luzon crammed on Labor Day to take advantage of an extension of four to seven days in the distribution of the government’s cash aid to poor families who had been locked indoors since March 17 due to the Luzon quarantine.
The additional four days granted to the provinces of Aurora, Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales, and seven more days to Bulacan province were all they would get, according to Reiner Grospe, public information officer of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Central Luzon.
“Finished or not, they have to submit their liquidation report to the DSWD. The report is one of the prerequisites [for] the downloading of funds for the second tranche [of the P6,500 financial assistance],” Grospe said.
As of Thursday, the DSWD had given the P6,500 emergency subsidy to 856,790 of 1.8 million families in the region, he said.
Noise barrage on socmed
The money is provided under the Social Amelioration Program of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, or Republic Act No. 11469.
In Aurora, the families totaled 30,092; Bataan, 20,087; Bulacan, 275,425; Nueva Ecija, 247,140; Pampanga, 135,167; Tarlac, 116,895; and Zambales, 31,984.
In Bataan province, workers belonging to Alyansa ng mga Manggagawa sa Bataan-Bataan Labor Alliance and the Freeport Workers League used social media for the noise barrage they used to conduct on the streets.
They banged pots and utensils on Labor Day and posted the same on their social media accounts to demand the resumption of the wage subsidy given by the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole).
They said around 20,000 workers in Bataan were unable to avail themselves of the wage subsidy for workers and employees who were displaced by the Luzon quarantine.
Some of them had applied for the grants issued by the Dole’s COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) after the deadline lapsed. But the program was discontinued at the end of April because its P2.6-billion fund had been exhausted.
More than 45,000 people work for 90 multinational companies at the Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB) in Mariveles town. FAB also had 475 companies, mostly small and medium enterprises, whose workers have been given CAMP subsidies. —TONETTE OREJAS AND GREG REFRACCION
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