DOLE: Over 1 million workers so far got cash aid from CAMP, TUPAD, AKAP
MANILA, Philippines — More than one million workers from both the formal and informal sectors affected by the lockdown due to COVID-19 have already received financial assistance from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
In a statement Thursday, DOLE said this number includes overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who returned to the Philippines after industries abroad were affected by the pandemic.
The distribution of cash aid was made through DOLE’s COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) and the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers, Barangay Ko Bahay Ko (TUPAD BKBK). These schemes are part of the government’s COVID-19 response.
“In its report to the President, DOLE said its assistance programs reached 1,059, 387 workers, and had disbursed about P4.44 billion of its regular budget and a separate P1.05 billion in emergency fund,” the statement noted.
For CAMP, DOLE said it already spent P3.093 billion to aid 618,722 formal sector workers from 31,972 micro, small and medium enterprises. DOLE said another 35,723 would receive the P5,000 aid before CAMP ends this week.
For TUPAD BKBKU, DOLE said it released P1.348 billion to help 337,198 workers in the informal sector.
DOLE, however, said that while both the CAMP and TUPAD have been halted due to depletion of funds, the AKAP Program, which aims to help OFWs, is still being implemented, adding that so far, 74 percent of targeted OFWs have been served.
According to DOLE, “103,467 OFWs were already listed as beneficiaries of the AKAP program representing displaced workers onsite and those repatriated or stranded in the country due to the community quarantine.”
“About P1.05 billion have been disbursed of the P1.5 billion special fund released for the program for an estimated 150,000 OFWs,” it noted. “It said the department would need additional P2 billion in emergency funds to be able to service a significant portion of the 368,703 OFWs who had sought the cash aid as of May 5.”
In March, the national government imposed a Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) that effectively stopped operations of the majority of businesses and this rendered many people – especially those whose jobs cannot adopt a work-from-home scheme – to also stop their work since only those in the so-called essential services were allowed to continue.
Since May 1, certain areas were allowed to transition to general community quarantine (GCQ) where certain businesses were permitted to reopen but Metro Manila and several other high-risk areas remain under ECQ until May 15.
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