DOLE official admits only small portion of unemployed Filipinos received aid so far
MANILA, Philippines — An official of the Department of Labor and Employment on Wednesday admitted that its assistance programs only helped a small portion of Filipinos who became unemployed as the coronavirus disease pandemic triggered the loss of jobs during community quarantines.
DOLE Assistant Secretary Dominique Tutay made this admission Wednesday after Bayan Muna Rep. Ferdinand Gaite noted a Philippine Statistics Authority report in April that showed that 7.3 million Filipinos were unemployed during that month.
“Tama po ‘yung observation ninyo na maliit po na portion ng unemployed, both in the formal and informal sector ang naabot ng tulong ng DOLE,” Tutay said during the hearing of the House committee on appropriations on the proposed budget of DOLE.
(Your observation that DOLE was able to reach out to only a small number of unemployed Filipinos, both in the formal and informal sector, is correct.)
She said the department was only able to provide aid to 1 million workers in the formal and informal sectors through its COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program and the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers.
Those who were not provided relief aid from DOLE under these two initiatives will be prioritized in assistance programs under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2, said Tutay.
The official said DOLE already has a list of possible beneficiaries under the second installment of the Bayanihan law. The list is currently undergoing verification by regional offices.
Despite agreeing to the observation of Gaite, Tutay explained that DOLE had to prioritize some workers to benefit under funds allocated to the department under the Bayanihan 1.
“Sa formal sector, karamihan sa kanila, about 80 to 82 percent ay temporary closure meaning wala din talaga silang kita, and about 20 percent lang ang nasa flexible working arrangement. Ito po ang naging priority natin under Bayanihan 1 lalong lalo na ‘yung micro and small enterprises,” she explained.
(In the formal sector, most of them, about 80 to 82 percent are in businesses that were on temporary closure meaning they don’t have income, and about 20 percent are in flexible working arrangements. They, especially the micro and small enterprises, were the ones prioritized under the Bayanihan 1.)
“Kung titingnan po natin ‘yung datos naayudahan, nasa 80 percent po ang nasa micro and small enterprises,” she added.
(If we will look at the data of those given aid, 80 percent of them are in micro and small-medium enterprises.)
Data from DOLE that was submitted to the committee showed that as of September 1, a total of P3.311 billion has been disbursed to 662,213 workers under CAMP; P747.175 million to 249,905 workers under TUPAD; and P1.591 billion has been spent for 423,511 under the TUPAD Barangay Ko, Bahay Ko Disinfecting/Sanitation Project.
The proposed 2021 budget for DOLE is at P27.5 billion, as part of the P4.506 trillion National Expenditure Program submitted by the Department and Management to Congress. [ac]
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