Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III
March 17, 2020

This is to echo the call of President Rodrigo Duterte for big businesses to give their share in these trying times.

I particularly make this appeal to the owners and managements of Filipino conglomerates like SM, Ayala, Yuchengco, Aboitiz, Metro Pacific, SMC, Summit, Villar and similar groups of companies who can very well take care of their workers and employees for the duration of the enhanced community quarantine.

In this manner, the Department of Labor and Employment may be able to address the pressing needs of the rest of the affected workers in the quarantined areas.

Effective immediately, we are rolling out a P180-million emergency employment program under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) for some 18,000 informal sector workers and the P1.3-billion COVID Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) to benefit about 250,000 workers.

The initial allocation for TUPAD will pay for barangay works to disinfect the communities, while the AMP represents financial assistance to the quarantine displaced workers.

We shall undertake other such measures that may be necessary to help mitigate the impact of the current global health emergency.

There is no denying that COVID-19 has considerably changed the normal lives we have and the regular work we do. In this extraordinary difficult situation under these extraordinary times, our long-enduring partnership and cooperation is more crucial than in any other similar exigencies in the past.

Again, we earnestly request the big employers to financially help their employees to tide them over during this public emergency.

We also reiterate our appeal to all employees to cooperate with the Government and their employers to implement the necessary measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.

We trust that, together, we will once again get through this very trying episode of our lives. In His time, this too shall pass.