MANILA - The Department of Labor and Employment said Monday it would ask the government for P5 billion more to provide cash aid to local and overseas workers who temporarily lost their jobs due to COVID-19.
Only P4.2 billion out of the agency's initial request of P7.8 billion was released, which resulted in a "shortage" of funds, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III told a Senate hearing.
Some 1 million workers were identified to receive the aid. So far, P3.167 billion was distributed to about 633,000 workers, Bello said.
"One million na process namin pero inabutan na ng shortage ng funds," Bello said. The funds will be for the agency's CAMP or COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program for formal workers.
(One million were processed but there is a shortage in funds)
Those who applied will be referred to the P51 billion wage subsidy program of the Department of Finance in the meantime, while DOLE is still requesting for additional funds, he said.
The DOLE also offered a $200 (P10,000) cash aid for OFWs who lost their jobs due to COVID-19. A total 370,000 OFWs applied for the aid compared to the 150,000 initial estimate, he said.
"Anticipating na lahat ng nag-apply ay mag qualify ay kakapusin na naman ang pondo namin kaya we asked for additional funds from DBM and Office of the President," Bello said.
(If everyone who applied qualifies, there will be another shortage in funds that's why we asked for additional funds from the DBM and the Office of the President)