BAGUIO CITY– Some P283 million has been made available by concerned government agencies under the Bayanihan II law purposely for emergency assistance for some 56,600 workers from the different parts of the Cordillera who were displaced due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Exequiel Ronnie Guzman, regional director of the Cordillera office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-CAR), stated that the available funds that could be availed by the workers and employees come from the government’s COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) of the agency where thousands of initially displaced workers were able to benefit from.
He disclosed that the DOLE-CAMP has still some P147 million available funds for displaced workers, the CAMP under the academe sectors has some P87 million for the workers in the said sector that need assistance while some P49 million has been made available under the tourism department’s version of the CAMP.
Under the Bayanihan II grant, workers from the micro- small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and other sectors who were displaced or whose income had been substantially decreased because of the heavy impact of the pandemic can avail of the provided assistance.
The DOLE-CAR official claimed that enterprises that previously registered their workers for the CAMP benefits under the Bayanihan I but were not provided with the aid because of limited funds will be the priority to be granted the aid under the newly approved law.
According to him, new applications for those who have not yet applied for government assistance would still be accepted, particularly the displaced workers under the tourism sector, including the community tour guides, the teaching and non-teaching personnel whether part-time or full-time in private educational institutions, and technical-vocational institutions and other works in the MSMEs.
Based on the prevailing guidelines of the program, qualified beneficiaries will be receiving a one-time financial assistance of P5,000 which they could use for their basic needs while awaiting the prevailing difficult situation to normalize.
While the tourism department’s CAMP disqualifies those who have earlier availed of other government assistance, the DOLE-CAMP can actually accommodate them as long as after the agency’s approval, their total financial assistance from the government will not exceed the prescribed P11,000 ceiling which had been fixed by the law.
Based on the data from the agency, the education sector has still some 17,415 slots available, the tourism department CAMP needs some 9,664 slots while the DOLE – CAMP still requires some 22,000 more slots for the utilization of the funds that had been available by the government.
For CAMP 2, DOLE was able to process some 7,188 applications since the agency received its allocation last October.
Guzman explained that even those who are employed with their jobs but whose income has been effected due to different work arrangements can avail of the benefits of the program that was devised to extend available assistance to the various sectors impacted by the pandemic. By HENT