Over 2 thousand workers to get COVID aid
Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon, Alicia Ivy L. Chua (The Freeman) - April 3, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — At least 2,154 workers in Central Visayas affected by COVID-19 crises are expected to receive P5,000 in financial assistance from the government.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has already processed the budget amounting to P10.8 million for workers in the formal sector.

The financial aid is under the department’s COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP).

As of March 30, 2020, the DOLE-7 has checked and evaluated 631 CAMP applications and 57 of which have been approved and processed.

“Meaning to say these applicant-establishments have submitted the complete set of requirements to us for the availment of CAMP that included the establishment report and company payroll,” DOLE-7 Regional Director Salome Siaton said in a statement.

In the absence of a payroll especially for the Micro- Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Siaton said payslip or logbook will do.

Service Provider

The DOLE-7 is now closely working with a money remittance center as its service provider for the distribution and release of financial assistance to affected workers.

Beneficiaries will be notified by the respective DOLE Field Offices concerned once the service provider sends confirmation of its receipt of the amount/payment for the workers under a particular company.

“Our technical working team is rendering overtime in accepting applications, validating documents and processing of payment. As soon as we receive confirmation from our partner money remittance center then, immediately, workers will be notified so they can also claim as soon as possible their financial assistance at any branch of that money remittance center within the region,” Siaton said.

 As of March 30, 425 establishments submitted establishment reports on the implementation of flexible work arrangements affecting 22, 679 workers.

Five companies reported to have implemented a work-from-home scheme affecting 95 workers. Around 241 have temporarily closed their operations affecting 6,825 workers.

Affected workers mostly come from the manufacturing, restaurants, retail, lending, resorts, and hotel industries.

For documents or applications related to the availment of the CAMP, clients are advised to contact the following numbers and send documents to: (1) For companies located within the Cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapulapu- (032) 513-2566/tricityfodole7camp@gmail.com; (2) For companies in Cebu Province outside the Cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapulapu- (032) 512-8133 / (+63) 977-610-9202/cpfodolero7camp@gmail.com; (3) For companies located in the Province of Negros Oriental- (035) 226-2778 / (035) 422-9741/nofodole7camp@gmail.com; (4) For companies in Siquijor- (035) 480-9244/sfodole7camp@gmail.com; and (5) For companies located in Bohol- (038) 501-0277 (038) 411-0806/doleboholcamp@gmail.com.

The CAMP covers workers in private establishments. Priority are those most vulnerable to the negative impacts of COVID-19 in the formal sector, specifically the MSMEs.

On the other hand, large establishments are encouraged to cover full wages of employees within the quarantine period, but they can still apply for CAMP.

“If the company is not adopting FWAs or implementing temporary closure (and is allowed to operate by the government under an ECQ), their workers cannot avail the CAMP,” the statement reads.

Aid Release

Meanwhile, the Cebu City government has coordinated with DOLE and the Department of Social Welfare and Development for the release of financial aid intended for the city amid the health crisis.

Mayor Edgardo Labella said the city has yet to receive cash assistance from the national government.

He said the money used in the fight against COVID-19 is locally funded/sourced.

“The funds we’re using are from the city’s coffers,” he said.

To recall, the City Council approved the Supplemental Budget 2, appropriating P1 billion from the general fund to be used in the fight against COVID-19.

Of the total amount, half is alloted to provide food assistance to affected residents.  KQD (FREEMAN)

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