‘Fast-track relief goods distribution’

A LABOR representative to the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) in Western Visayas called for the distribution of the relief goods to be fast-tracked amid the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine due to coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

Wennie Sancho, also the secretary general of the General Alliance of Workers Associations (Gawa), said there are still areas in the province that have not received relief goods from the government.

“No notice as to when is the distribution,” he said, lamenting that “there’s also no way of knowing how many formal and informal workers benefited from the Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program (Camp) and Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged or Displaced Workers (Tupad) program of the government.”

Camp is the safety net of the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) that seeks to provide financial support to affected workers as measure to mitigate the adverse economic impact and reduction of income.

Under Department Order 209 signed last March 17, a one-time financial assistance equivalent to P5,000 shall be provided to affected workers in lump sum, non-conditional, regardless of employment status.

For Camp alone, Dole-Western Visayas earlier reported that it has already disbursed about P12.2 million worth of financial assistance to workers in the region affected by the Covid-19 crisis.

As of April 1, the regional line agency already assisted 2,404 workers from 161 establishments in the region including Negros Occidental.

Of the total number of establishments, 31 implemented flexible working arrangements while 130 are temporary closed.

In Negros Occidental alone, some 57 establishments have already availed of the program for their employees.

In terms of relief goods distribution, some local government units (LGUs) in Negros Occidental reported that they already finished distributing the initial batch of aid to their constituents.

Sancho, however, said with the usual delay in the relief goods distribution people will be compelled to go out to buy their needs.

“This negates the we had from implemented the lockdown,” he said, adding that “contamination cannot be prevented if there’s no discipline.”


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