DOLE out of funds to help formal workers weather pandemic


Posted at Sep 08 2020 12:24 PM

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Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Tuesday his agency only had funds to help informal workers cope with the coronavirus pandemic, and none for formal workers. 

“Wala na po kami[ng pondo] for the formal workers, pero for the informal workers, mayroon pa kaming naiiwan,” he told ANC. “Kaunting-kaunti na lang po, pero we will manage.” 

(We no longer have funds for formal workers, but we have some left for informal workers. There’s very little left, but we will manage.) 

The Philippines has some 15 million informal workers, who are self-employed and unpaid family workers, according to the labor department’s website. 

Bello said his agency would get P18 billion to help displaced workers under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2, which would let President Rodrigo Duterte realign funds for the pandemic.
This final congressional bill is now up for Duterte’s approval into law.

The pandemic has left some 3.3 million Filipinos jobless, according to the labor department’s records. 

This is fewer than the Philippine Statistics Authority’s estimate of 4.6 million jobless Filipinos as of July. 

ANC, Sept. 8, 2020