Suspension of DOLE’s CAMP and its Impending Resumption
By: Ira Christele G. Vicente
Formerly, the Department of Labor and Employment introduced the COVID-19 Adjustment Program (CAMP) where affected workers due to the pandemic are given a one-time financial assistance amounting to Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00). One Billion Six Hundred Million Pesos (P1,600,000,000) was allocated by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) as budget for DOLE’s financial assistance programs to aid displaced workers. In its previous releases, DOLE, as well as the national government, ensured that there would be sufficient funds for the implementation of the said program.
However, on 16 April 2020, DOLE released a Statement regarding the suspension of the acceptance of online application for financial assistance under CAMP for formal sectors. Primarily, the suspension was due to the impending depletion of the available funds of the Department for CAMP. Further, they explained that from 23 March 2020 to 18 April 2020, the utilized funds amounted to One Billion Three Hundred Twenty Million Pesos (P1,320,000,000) which were given to a total of Two Hundred Sixty-Four Thousand One Hundred Fifty-Four (264,154) workers from Ten Thousand Six Hundred Sixty-Three (10,663) establishments. Furthermore, the sudden upsurge of online applications was brought about by the extension of the Enhanced Community Quarantine to 30 April 2020 (which was originally until 15 April 2020).
The following are the areas which recorded the highest displacement of workers:
- Metro manila = 570,523
- Central Luzon = 274,910
- CALABARZON = 123,687
- Davao Region = 100,275
- Region 10 = 94,101
- Region 2 = 86,467
- Central Visayas = 86,250
- Cordillera Region = 61,200
- Region 6 = 59,548
- Bicol Region = 57,205
- MIMAROPA = 51,167
- CARAGA = 36,390
On the other hand, the following areas reported the least affected workers:
- Region 8 = 33,649
- Region 1 = 32,017
- Region 9 = 30,530
- Region 12 = 17,895
Alternatively, President Rodrigo R. Duterte approved the Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) Program to provide a wage subsidy for affected employees of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in mitigating the effects of the implementation of the ECQ. For more information, kindly click this link: http://mfbr.com.ph/2020/04/22/overview-the-small-business-wage-subsidy-sbws-program/.
Fortunately, on 19 April 2020, DOLE, in its news release, is seeing the possibility of resuming its cash assistance program to workers in the formal sector with initiatives in Congress calling for the augmentation of additional funds for DOLE’s emergency subsidy program. The said proposal was urged by Senators Joel Villanueva and Christopher Bong Go.
As of 17 April 2020, displaced workers were recorded to stand at One Million Six Hundred Ninety-Six Thousand Eight Hundred Fourteen (1,696,814) from Sixty-Three Thousand Three Hundred Thirty-Five (63,335) establishments nationwide.
In the interim, we can only hope and pray that the efforts of the lawmakers would yield to positive results, and ultimately resume the grant of the P5,000 financial assistance to affected workers under the CAMP.
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