DOLE to distribute P45.7-million aid to 9,000 displaced workers in Bicol

ALBAY, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Bicol has allotted P45.7 million in cash aid for over 9,000 workers displaced by lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic.

DOLE Bicol director Joel Gonzales directed his agency to release the financial assistance to the first set of qualified affected workers in the region. (READ: DOLE: P5,000 cash aid for Luzon workers affected by lockdown)

“The people are likely to run out of resources in the coming weeks. This means that they might be unable to buy enough food for their family. So we are following the call of the President and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III that we have to distribute the financial aid immediately,” Gonzales said.

The cash assistance is under DOLE's Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) to be released this week after it expedited the evaluation process of qualified beneficiary-workers.

As of April 2, DOLE Bicol has approved CAMP applications for 9,144 employees of 541 establishments in the region. Each will receive P5,000.

There are 5,336 CAMP applications still pending at DOLE. These applications are from those establishments that have implemented Flexible Working Arrangements (FWAs), or temporary closure, in compliance with DOLE Labor Advisory No. 9, series of 2020.

Out of the 5,336 applicants, at least 425 private establishments have yet to submit complete requirements.

Gonzales said applicants have to comply with the needed requirements so that their CAMP applications will move forward.

“Our personnel are informing each one of them via call or email to correct the submissions,” he added.

To reduce the delay in the CAMP application process, he appealed to all applicants to ensure that their requirements are correct prior to submission.

Gonzales explained that as everyone is observing strict community quarantine, including the government workers, they have to come up with working arrangements that would enable them to accomplish everything.

"We adopt shift work schedules by extending the normal working hours beyond the standard 8-hour shift. We have morning and evening shifts to accomplish everything," the regional labor head said.

Gonzales added that they know of some companies having their employees stay in the office instead of working from home. 

The enhanced community quarantine in Luzon is set to end on April 14, unless extended or lifted earlier.  – Rappler.com