Labor department rolls out fresh cash aid for workers

Xave Gregorio ( – October 30, 2020 – 4:12pm

MANILA, Philippines — The labor department is extending another batch of cash subsidies to workers after securing P16.1 billion in fresh funding under the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act.

Of this cash allocation, P5 billion would fund a one-time P5,000 dole out for 993,432 workers in the formal sector who were displaced by company closures or shortened work hours, Labor Undersecretary Joji Aragon said at the Laging Handa briefing on Friday.

Some 547,000 workers who previously applied for cash aid but unable to get assistance will be prioritized. New applicants will be next, Warren Miclat, director of the labor department’s finance management service, in a separate media briefing.

On top of P16.1 billion, Aragon said another P6 billion has been allotted to fund a one-time cash handout worth P10,000 each to around 200,000 overseas Filipino workers displaced by the pandemic. A similar amount would also be set aside for emergency employment for 15 days of 863,867 workers in the informal sector.

Separately, the labor department also received P3.1 billion under Bayanihan 2 to aid workers in the tourism industry heavily battered by lost of livelihood as a result of the health crisis.

Previously, the labor department has extended cash aid to 618,722 formal sector workers, 150,000 displaced overseas Filipino workers, and 337,198 informal sector workers using a P5.49 billion fund sourced from its own budget and emergency funds.

The labor department had to temporarily halt its distribution of cash aid for formal workers in April as it announced the funds for the program “is very close to be depleted.”

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