DOLE needs P2-B budget to aid displaced workers amid pandemic
MANILA, Philippines — Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has requested a P2-billion supplemental budget for continuous assistance to displaced workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a letter addressed to Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado and released to reporters on Wednesday, Bello said the DOLE would need emergency funds to assist workers especially with the looming enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila.
Bello also mentioned that the labor department is fast-tracking the implementation of its programs such as the Coronavirus Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) for displaced workers in the formal sector.
As the ECQ is expected to bring job losses, DOLE has proposed CAMP funding to alleviate the financial constraints of workers.
Under the proposal, 39 percent or P776.1 million will be allocated to Metro Manila, 15 percent or P298.5 million for Central Luzon, nine percent or P179.1 million for Calabarzon, eight percent or P159.2 million for Western Visayas, two percent or P39.8 million for Northern Mindanao, and 27 percent or P537.3 million for other areas that may be placed under ECQ.
Moreover, Bello ordered the utilization of the remaining funds under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program for workers who will be displaced during the two-week ECQ.
TUPAD is a cash-for-work program that provides emergency employment for displaced, seasonal, and underemployed workers for 10 to 30 days.
To date, TUPAD still has P4 billion under its program implementation funded under the 2021 General Appropriations Act.
DOLE Assistant Secretary Dominique Rubia-Tutay said that some 300,000 to 400,000 workers in Metro Manila are projected to be affected by the ECQ that will be enforced on August 6 to 20.
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