Thank you so much to all our ever dependable friends in media for your support in helping us perform our duty to the Filipino workers and the people.

As the year comes to a close, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has demonstrated significant strides despite the lingering threat and challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In terms of our responses, we were able to provide 658,886 workers in the private sector with P3.311 billion in assistance under the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program or CAMP utilizing our regular fund.

Also, 423,511 workers in the informal sector were able to receive P1.591 billion in emergency employment under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program.

Meanwhile, roughly P3.5 billion was disbursed in cash assistance to close to 350,000 OFWs displaced by the pandemic under the AKAP or the Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong program funded under Bayanihan 1.

Under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2) signed by President Rodrigo Duterte, a total of P16.4 billion for cash assistance was allocated to DOLE.

Of the amount, P4.1 billion was allotted under CAMP for formal sector workers, P300 million under CAMP for private educational institution workers, and P3.1 billion under CAMP for tourism sector workers; P6.2 billion for TUPAD for informal sector workers; P239 million for the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program or DOLE Kabuhayan Program; P2 billion for AKAP; and P500 million for OWWA’s Emergency Repatriation Program.

To date, more than 70 percent of the funds has been disbursed, except for CAMP for the tourism sector and AKAP.

The pandemic has prompted the labor department to issue labor advisories, policy orders, and memorandum circulars jointly with other agencies to protect the workers and help businesses cope with the crippling effect of the health crisis.

We were also able to pursue our regular programs for our beneficiaries despite the pandemic.

A total of 34,563 youth were enlisted to the Special Program for Employment of Students; 1.8 million workers and job seekers were provided with up-to-date labor market information; and over a million job seekers were placed through the Public Employment Service Offices.

To stimulate the competitiveness of micro, small, and medium enterprises, we have provided training and technical assistance to 11,139 firms.

Meanwhile, 4,234 seafarers have finished the Maritime Training Program, while 53,515 graduates of professional courses were administered with licensure examinations.

The labor department has also never stopped pursuing the protection of workers during the pandemic.

A total of 82,593 establishments were inspected for general labor standards compliance, exceeding our target of 64,000 for the year.

Under the Single Entry Approach (SEnA), 51,244 workers have benefited and received around P3.2 billion in monetary awards.

Under the Preventive Mediation, 225 cases were disposed of while another 219 were settled, which benefitted 1,699 workers who received P101.2 million in monetary awards.

A total of 289,219 workers also benefitted from labor education and workers’ organization and development program.

Meanwhile, 2,291 workers have undergone the Occupational Health and Safety course.

A total of 993,134 workers have benefited under DOLE’s welfare programs, like the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program and TUPAD program, while 16,929 youth were drafted to the Government Internship Program.

There have also been wage increases implemented in Region 2, and a salary hike for domestic workers to P4,000 took effect as well in two regions outside NCR.

The Employees Compensation Commission released P827 million to some 80,000 workers and granted P20.7 million cash assistance for Covid cases to more than 2,000 frontline workers.

Upholding the rights of children, we have removed 46,248 children from child labor.

Aside from emergency assistance, our OFWs also benefitted from our social amelioration programs.

A total of 25,679 OFW dependents were granted support to finish their short-term and degree courses; 10,802 OFWs who were victims of illegal recruitment and trafficking-in-person were assisted; 1.5 million OFWs were given training, case management, repatriation, and livelihood assistance; and some 367,000 OFWs were brought home to their respective provinces.

In these difficult times, we take our hats off to our Filipino workers here and abroad for their selfless sacrifices. To those who have fallen in the line of duty, they are truly our heroes. They all deserve our accolades.

Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat! Patuloy nating pagtingin ang bayanihang pagtugon sa hamon ng bagong panahon, sa gabay ng ating Panginoon.

Isang mabiyaya at ligtas na Pasko at mapayapang Bagong Taon sa ating lahat!