Over 93% of P16 billion allocated to aid workers already downloaded | Inquirer News
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Over 93% of P16 billion allocated to aid workers already downloaded

/ 11:01 PM December 08, 2020
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Labor and Employment Sec. Silvestre Bello III. Senate PRIB file photo / Henzberg Austria

MANILA, Philippines — More than 93 percent of the P16 billion allocated under the Bayanihan To Recover As One Act to assist workers in the formal and informal sectors — including overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) — has been downloaded so far, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Tuesday.

Bello said the funds were downloaded to regional and overseas officers ahead of the expiration of Bayanihan 2 on Dec. 19.

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The labor secretary said the funds cover several assistance programs such as the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) and Abot Kamay Ang Pagtulong (AKAP) Program; emergency employment under Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) Program; and livelihood assistance under DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP).

A huge chunk of the funds (P7.4 billion) is set aside for CAMP, which is a safety-net program that offers financial support to workers in private companies that have adopted flexible work arrangements or temporary closure during the pandemic.

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Through CAMP, affected workers, regardless of their employment status, are receiving a one-time financial assistance of P5,000.

Meanwhile, P4.9 billion is allocated for TUPAD, which aims to provide temporary wage employment to workers in the informal sector who were displaced or whose earnings were affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For OFWs, Bello said DOLE had also been extending a one-time P10,000 or $200 cash aid under the AKAP program for those whose incomes were affected by the pandemic.

In November, House leaders bared plans to hasten the approval of a bill that would extend the validity of Bayanihan 2 to enable the government to complete the release of the P140-billion fund meant for pandemic measures even beyond the law’s original deadline of Dec. 19.

Majority Leader Martin Romualdez said that Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto had already filed a similar bill at the Senate, seeking to extend the deadline to March 27, 2021.

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TAGS: Bayanihan 2, coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, DOLE, pandemic aid for workers, Silvestre Bello III
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