21,389 workers in Region 12 get cash aid from DOLE

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 08 May) — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has already released nearly PHP89 million in financial assistance to workers in Region 12 or Soccsksargen who were affected by the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Sisinio Cano, DOLE Region 12 director, said Friday these were directly received by some 21,389 workers from the formal and informal sectors who qualified for the cash grants under the Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) and the Tulong Panghanapbuhay para sa mga Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers (Tupad).

He said a total of 9,177 formal workers or those employed in companies and establishments that were affected by the COVID-19 crisis qualified for the one-time P5,000 assistance.

The agency completed early this week the distribution of the emergency assistance, which reached some P45.88 million, through the M Lhuiller money remittance service, he said.

Cano said the beneficiaries were from the 736 establishments and companies in the region that applied and were approved for the CAMP assistance at the end of the application period last April 15.

He said these comprise private establishments or businesses that have implemented flexible work arrangements and closed down temporarily due to the implementation of the heightened community quarantine measures against COVID-19.

The entire Soccsksargen was placed under enhanced community quarantine last March 23 and eventually downgraded to general community quarantine starting last May 1.

For Tupad, Cano said some 12,212 informal workers have already received cash assistance as of Friday, with the total releases reaching a total of P42.98 million.

“This is a continuing program and the processing of the qualified beneficiaries is still ongoing in partnership with our local government units,” he told reporters.

Under the program’s #BKBK or “Barangay Ko, Bahay Ko” component, he said workers in the informal sector were hired by their barangays to work on community disinfection or sanitation projects for at least 10 days.

Cano said each worker received salaries based on the prevailing daily minimum wage in the region of P326 or a total of P3,260.

The official said the beneficiaries were assigned to disinfect and clean up homes as well as surroundings in support of the community control and prevention measures against COVID-19.

He added that the workers were supervised by personnel from local health offices to ensure their health and safety while doing their assigned tasks. (MindaNews)