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COVID-19 task force approves release of P5 billion to assist formal workers

Stranded passengers set up camp at the NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay City after their flights were canceled due to the threat of heavy rain and strong winds brought by Typhoon Tisoy.

MANILA, Philippines — The labor department will get P5 billion in additional funding for programs designed to help formal sector workers affected by the Luzon-wide lockdown.

Thousands of workers have been sidelined by the enhanced community quarantine, one of the measures implemented by the government to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The lockdown started last March 17 and was supposed to end on April 13 but President Rodrigo Duterte extended it until April 30 to give the government more time to conduct tests.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) approved the aid package for formal sector workers through Resolution No. 21 issued Monday.

“The recommendations of the Department of Labor and Employment for the social amelioration program for the formal workers sector as presented are hereby approved,” Nograles, also the spokesman for IATF, said at a press briefing Tuesday.

“For this purpose, the IATF supports the approval and immediate release of the requested budget by the Department of Labor and Employment amounting to P5 billion,” he added.

Nograles said the outlay would fund the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) for affected overseas Filipino workers and local workers; Tulong Panghanapbuhay for Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD) sanitation project; and the Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) sa OFWs program.

CAMP provides P5,000 each to workers of companies whose operations were affected by the lockdown. TUPAD provides emergency employment for displaced workers, underemployed and seasonal workers while AKAP aims to provide relief to migrant workers.

Nograles said the cash assistance is different from the emergency subsidy program of the social welfare department that seeks to help informal sector workers and low-income housheholds. The government has allotted about P200 billion for the subsidy program, which is expected to benefit 18 million households.

Credit belongs to : www.philstar.ca

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