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DOLE to provide financial aid to COVID-19 affected workers 

By: Irene R. Sino Cruz - CDN Digital | March 19,2020 - 11:54 AM

CEBU CITY, Philippines—The Department of Labor (DOLE)  will provide financial assistance to the workers in the private sector who are affected by the Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) crisis.

In an emailed press release, Salome Siaton, DOLE Central Visayas (DOLE-7) regional director, said she asked DOLE Central Office “to promulgate the guidelines that will define the Department’s response to the impact that the outbreak has brought about in the community and in the country as a whole.”

Under Department Order No. 209, Series of 2020, which Secretary Bello signed, COVID-19-affected workers in the private sector could avail financial support and employment facilitation under the so-called COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP).

The CAMP is a safety net program offering financial support and employment facilitation to affected workers in private establishments that have adopted flexible work arrangements (FWA)s or temporary closure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under this program, DOLE would provide affected workers a one-time financial assistance equivalent to P5,000 in lump sum, non-conditional, regardless of employment status.

“Said amount is expected to provide affected workers financial relief necessary to mitigate the immediate adverse economic impacts of the pandemic. This assistance may be used to cover remaining unpaid leaves of affected workers,” said Director Siaton,

She added that the DOLE-7 is now maintaining a database and profile of workers as an important tool to use in identifying the number of workers in Central Visayas who can avail the said assistance.

To avail the CAMP, an affected worker must be an employee of a private establishment that has implemented FWAs or temporary closure due to COVID-19 pandemic. Affected establishments must submit the following: (1) Establishment Report on COVID-19 and (2) Company Payroll for the month prior the implementation of FWAs or temporary closure.

Siaton explained that DOLE would be coming up with procedure on receiving, evaluation, denial or approval of applications as well as the mode of disbursement.

“We have to make sure also that while doing these things, social distancing, being a mandatory precautionary measure to be observed, is being abided by religiously for the protection not only of our personnel but also of the workers and company representatives concerned,” she added.

As of March 16, 2020, DOLE-7 registered 74 establishments implementing flexible work arrangements in their respective workplaces. The number of workers affected has reached 6,581. 

Two establishments observed compressed work week and work-from-home scheme involving 55 and 45 workers, respectively. 

On the other hand, four establishments have retrenched 234 workers while four others have temporarily closed their operations, affecting 90 workers.

Meanwhile, through employment facilitation, being one of the components of the program assistance, affected workers will be provided access to available job opportunities suitable to their qualifications through job matching, referral and placement services either for local or overseas employment, employment coaching and labor market information.

“In this case, we will have to strengthen more our ties with the LGUs (local government units) thru their Public Employment Services Offices so that referrals of affected workers to appropriate employers with job vacancies, local or overseas, could be easily facilitated,” Siaton clarified. /bmjo

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