DOLE gets P5-billion budget boost for workers' cash aid

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 07 2020 12:11 PM

DOLE gets P5-billion budget boost for workers' cash aid 1
Workers coming from a construction site cross Jones Bridge before darkness falls on March 24, 2020. The sun sets in Manila as the 'enhanced community quarantine' is imposed to combat the threat of COVID-19. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

MANILA - A P5 billion supplemental budget for the Department of Labor and Employment was approved by the government's pandemic response task force to help migrant workers and displaced employees, an official said Tuesday.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the additional P5 billion funding will be used for the social amelioration program for formal sector workers such as overseas Filipino workers and local workers with reduced or no income.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III earlier said his agency might need additional funding as it expects 1.8 million more Filipino workers to take a hit from the global crisis, based on the projections of the National Economic Development Authority.

The specific DOLE programs that will benefit from the supplemental funding are the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP), Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa ating Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD) Sanitation Project, and the ​Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong​ (AKAP) ​sa OFWs.

The labor department has been distributing a one-time P5,000 financial assistance to workers with reduced or no income due to the pandemic.

So far, Bello said the labor department has already released P514 million to 102,855 formal sector workers, and P107 million to 72,703 "no work, no pay" workers.

The agency still has to release P579 million to formal sector workers, and P963 million more to informal sector workers, the labor chief said.