The labor department on Thursday said it has extended cash assistance to more than 1 million workers in both the formal and informal sectors, including overseas Filipino workers, as it winds up its social amelioration programs to help cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In its report to the President, DOLE said its assistance programs reached 1,059,387 workers and had disbursed about P4.44 billion of its regular budget and a separate P1.05 billion in emergency fund.
It said it has concluded the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) and the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers, Barangay Ko Bahay Ko (TUPAD #BKBK) program as part of the government’s response to mitigate the adverse economic effects of the health emergency on the low income workers.
It also said the only remaining program is the assistance to OFWs under the AKAP program, but also nearing completion with about 74 percent of the targeted OFW-beneficiaries already qualified for the release of the one-time P10,000 or $200 cash assistance.
DOLE said 103,467 OFWs were already listed as beneficiaries of the AKAP program representing displaced workers onsite and those repatriated or stranded in the country due to the community quarantine. About P1.05 billion have been disbursed of the P1.5 billion special fund released for the program for an estimated 150,000 OFWs.
It said the department would need additional P2 billion in emergency funds to be able to service a significant portion of the 368,703 OFWs who had sought the cash aid as of May 5.
Also for the same period, DOLE said a total of 618,722 formal sector workers from 31,972 micro, small and medium enterprises were extended the P5,000 cash assistance under CAMP. DOLE spent P3.093 billion from its 2020 budget for the one-time assistance program. An additional 35,723 workers are expected to benefit from the cash aid as the CAMP program wraps up its operations this week.
The program was rolled out on March 23, and acceptance of requests for assistance by establishments was terminated on April 15 with the receipt of more than 1.6 million applications.
Under the TUPAD BKBK program, meanwhile, DOLE said 337,198 workers in the informal sector benefited from the 10-day emergency employment and were paid the minimum wage prevailing in their respective areas. Some P1.348 billion of the department’s regular budget were disbursed to finance the program.
The emergency employment involved the disinfection and sanitation of the beneficiaries’ dwellings and immediate vicinity to conform with the physical distancing protocol to prevent the spread of the virus.