Additional Measures To Be Adopted By DOLE In Light Of Extended Quarantine
By: Saliha Naila Abdullah
In light of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and in response to growing concerns by all affected employees, Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) released a statement on additional measures to be adopted by DOLE in view of the extended community quarantine.
According to the Secretary of Labor, DOLE will adopt the following measures:
- Guarantee that no information given by employers in the submission of establishment reports will be disclosed to the public or used against them in the future. This is to encourage more companies to submit their reports so that the government will be able to provide assistance to their workers and employees.
- DOLE is no longer strictly requiring the submission of the company payroll in the establishment report. Any proof of payment of salaries and wages will be sufficient compliance with the requirement.
3. DOLE’s field offices will continue processing establishment reports even during the Holy Week to speed up the processing of assistance, and they have entered into an agreement with Land Bank for the expeditious release and remittance of funds through their branches and automated teller machines (ATMs) nationwide.
The Department of Labor and Employment is just waiting for the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte on the recommendation of the Inter Agency Task Force for additional funding for the following assistance program to be implemented by DOLE:
- P10,000 assistance to affected OFWs, documented or undocumented, who are stranded overseas or have been repatriated under the DOLE AKAP program. The Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) can now start processing the assistance;
- Additional fund for the Tulong Panghanapbuhay para was Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers-Barangay Ko Bahay Ko (TUPAD-BKBK) for the informal sector workers; and
3. Additional funds for the Covid Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) which provides a one-time P5,000 assistance to workers in the formal economy.
DOLE aims to aid all 715,000 affected workers whose employers had applied for financial assistance under CAMP. They are also ready to process more requests if more establishments will submit their reports.
Also with additional funding, the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/ Displaced Workers Program-Barangay Ko, Bahay ko (TUPAD-BKBK) program intends to finance the emergency work of approximately 700,000 affected workers in the informal sector.
To date, CAMP and TUPAD-BKBK had already benefitted 440,000 workers from the formal and informal sector. Further, in the DOLE AKAP program, the government is looking at providing financial assistance to about 150,000 affected OFWs. The DOLE measures and assistance discussed in this article will be updated accordingly as new announcements are given from time to time.