By Susan De Leon
CALOOCAN CITY — As the labor department continues to make interventions to protect and address the needs of workers during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) starting Friday, Aug. 6, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III today expressed optimism that the country will bounce back after a 2-week lockdown.
“Because of this two-week lockdown, we expect to see that employment rate will go downward trend and unemployment rate will increase. But it is only for two weeks. I am confident we will bounce back after the two-week lockdown,” Bello said.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) chief has earlier requested a supplemental budget of P2 billion from the Department of Budget and Management to finance DOLE’s amelioration program COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP).
“We will be expediting the implementation of our programs to ensure that displaced workers would still be able to earn a living for their families instead of totally being unemployed,” Bello said.
Since the onset of the COVID pandemic last year, DOLE provided informal workers emergency employment through the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers or TUPAD program.
The beneficiaries were hired and paid based on the prevailing minimum wage in the region where they live.
For workers in the formal sector, DOLE have implemented CAMP for displaced employees. “These are our safety net programs aimed to provide financial support to affected workers in both formal and informal sectors,” Bello said.
With the renewed implementation of ECQ in the National Capital Region, Bello said DOLE is expecting to receive applications from those who want to avail the one-time cash assistance programs. Philippine Information Agency