P2B in additional funds sought for workers affected in ECQ areas

Close to 400,000 formal workers in several regions, including the National Capital Region (NCR), who will be affected by the two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) will benefit from the P2 billion supplemental budget requested by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

In a letter dated Aug. 3 to Budget Secretary Wendell Avisado, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the requested amount will be used under the department’s Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) for displaced workers in the formal sector.

“A safety net program aims to provide one-time financial support to affected workers in the formal sector regardless of status, in private establishments or those who are employed by any person acting directly or indirectly in the interest of an employer in relation to an employee,” Bello said.

Under the program, beneficiaries will be given one-time cash assistance amounting to P5,000.

The CAMP will cover probationary, project, seasonal, contractual, and casual employees in private health institutions, culture and arts, creative industries, including but not limited to film and audiovisual workers broadcast, construction, public transportation, trade and industries, cooperatives, and other sectors of the economy as may be identified by DOLE.

“With the extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila, the country’s main economic hub, the Department would need emergency funds to be able to serve a significant number of workers from small and medium enterprises who will be affected by the ECQ considering that DOLE will be receiving applications for those who want to avail said one-time cash assistance program,” he added.

The amount of funds allocated and the number of beneficiaries per region is as follows:

— NCR (P776.1 million, 155,520 workers)

— Central Luzon (P298.5 million, 59,700 workers)

— Calabarzon (P179.1 million, 35,820 workers)

— Western Visayas (P159.2 million, 31,840 workers)

— Northern Mindanao (P39.8 million, 7,960 workers)

The remaining P537.3 million will be set aside to benefit another 107,460 workers nationwide.

Bello said the P2 billion augmentation fund for CAMP also covers administrative/transaction fees for the transfer of financial assistance through remittance partners or digital payment service providers.

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