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DOLE submits wage subsidy proposal

The Department of Labor and Employment has already submitted to the Department of Budget and Management the proposal to provide wage subsidy for workers and establishments that have been affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

Labor Assistant Secretary Dominique Tutay said that also included in the proposal presented are the three possible sources of funds for the program.

“We have submitted our wage subsidy program to the DBM and proposed three possible sources of funds. First, to reprogram or realign the continuing 2020 funds that have not been allocated, second, if there are savings from the Bayanihan 2, and third, the DBM can identify other fund sources to be able to meet the need of the proposed wage subsidy program of the DOLE,” she said in a Laging Handa briefing.

The DOLE earlier said it is looking to assist some 1.6 million workers and 30,000 establishments, particularly micro, small, and medium enterprises, under the wage subsidy program.

Tutay said they are open to consultations regarding the proposal of employers of expanded working hours.

“The DOLE is open to these consultations but we have to keep in mind that our workers have thresholds, physically and mentally. It is stated in the Labor Code that workers are only allowed to work for eight hours,” she added.

Tutay said additional working hours are not beneficial to the workers and will not help in creating jobs.

“If you extend the working hours, it might have an effect on our physical and mental well-being. Second, if we extend the workers’ hours of work, it will not in any way help in terms of employment creation or generation because instead of hiring more workers, we just extend their working hours,” she said.

TOURISM WORKERS

An additional 400,000 workers from the tourism sector are also set to benefit from the Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program (Camp) of the DOLE.

Tutay said that of the more than 500,000 beneficiaries of the program for the tourism sector, only 171,000 have received the cash assistance provided by the government.

“We still have open applications for workers in the tourism sector numbering to 400,000, that may avail of the cash program,” Tutay said.

She added that more than one million workers have benefited from the Camp program, particularly formal sector workers who were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

As for the education sector, Tutay said about 45,000 teachers and education personnel have received cash assistance amounting to P5,000 per worker.

She advised those who have not yet received their cash assistance to check the status of their applications at reports.dole.gov.ph.

“If you remember, when you applied for the cash aid, you were given a reference number. So you can check the status of your application there,” she added.

Tutay also reported that business process outsourcing remains the strongest sector as far as job opportunities are concerned during the pandemic.

“The BPO sector remains to be resilient and then manufacturing, construction, and the government sector,” she added.*PNA

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