DOLE CAMP covers thousands of Bohol tourism industry workers
TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, May 16 (PIA) — True to its objectives, the government’s financial alleviation program to help workers affected by the measures to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) benefitted thousands of workers from 194 Bohol establishments, a huge percentage of them from the tourism industry sector.
This is according to the complete list of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) in the government labor department’s regional Facebook page.
On the 194 formal sector establishments in Bohol whose workers benefitted from the one-time P5,000 cash assistance, about 54 percent of a little over a hundred establishments are directly involved in tourism activities from hotels and resorts to inns and pension houses, tour and travel operators, and tourism transport sector, data from the DOLE showed.
CAMP is among the government’s income mitigation measures as workers have been temporarily laid off, or work in reduced hours or told to adopt work from home, while some were forced out of work as the government implements social distancing and strict community quarantines.
To cover for the lost income or lessened take-home pay, DOLE puts up CAMP for the formal sector while those in the informal sector can avail of still other packages of cash aid like the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board’s cash aid for transport drivers, Social Security System’s Small Business Wage Subsidy, Rice Farmers Financial Assistance, and Financial Subsidy for Rice Farmers and the Social Amelioration Program under the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Other than that, DOLE also implements Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Displaced Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD) cash for work in the Barangay Ko, Bahay ko program.
At the opening of applications for the DOLE CAMP, the government never thought the sheer number of establishment applicants could swamp their system, said DOLE VII in an advisory.
In a statement sent April 16, 2020, DOLE announced with regret the suspension of their acceptance of application for financial assistance under the CAMP for formal sector worker effective 5:00 pm of April 15.
“The labor department has been swamped with volumes of requests that the available fund for the program amounting to P1.6 billion is very close to being depleted,” DOLE Information and Public Service Department said.
It also reported that since the implementation of CAMP from March 23 to April 15, DOLE has provided the one-time P5,000 assistance to 236,412 workers from 10,663 establishments with total cash disbursements of P1.2-B.
By April 15, the government has yet to process 85,563 more workers in the coming days.
On this, they sought full understanding of employers and workers who were unable to receive the assistance as the requests simply ballooned beyond the capacity of DOLE’s resources.
Moreover, the extension of the Enhanced Community Quarantines and the continued General Community Quarantine aggravated the situation of need.
DOLE promised that they will work closely with other agencies, including Congress, for an immediate alternative program to help ease the burden of the greater number of workers who did not benefit from CAMP.
Not long after that, DOLE directed applicant establishments which failed to make the cut to the Department of Finance’s and the Social Security System’s Small Business Wage Subsidy, a program that was also closing on May 8.
On the CAMP, DOLE said “our regional operations had enormous challenges in attending to the 1.6 million CAMP applications nationwide, but we are happy to extend assistance to those who had received the cash aid.”
DOLE is now moving fast its recovery plan for workers and employers to cope with the “new normal” after the ECQ.
“We are preparing a menu of programs that will complement national efforts to effectively address the needs of the people,” the labor department’s statement said. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)