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Bicolano displaced workers receive cash aids on Xmas

By Cet Dematera

Thousands of workers in the Bicol region displaced due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and the three strong typhoons that recently hit the region, continue to receive even during the Christmas season the government cash assistance being given by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Johana Vi Gasga, DOLE Bicol spokesperson, said more than 3,500 beneficiaries received the P5,000 cash aid/worker under the DOLE’s Covid-19 Adjustment Measure Program or CAMP; the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating mga Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers or TUPAD; Abot Kamay Para sa Pagtulong or AKAP; and Tabang for OFW.

Gasga said that TUPAD releases were carried out until December 24, while disbursements for CAMP continued as long as the payout partners remain open.

“In fact, our finance department personnel are reporting to their offices to attend to the sending of reference numbers to the CAMP beneficiaries so that they could claim their cash assistance to the payout partners despite the Christmas break,” Gasga told Bicol Mail.

DOLE records show that as of Dec. 24, a total of 62,276 displaced workers out of the targeted 83,196 had already received the cash aid representing P303.003 million out of P406.054 million TUPAD allocation; 36,868 workers out of targeted 43,537 Covid-19 and typhoon-affected workers already received cash assistance representing P184.345 million out of the P217.687 million CAMP allocation, Gasga said.

She said that the beneficiaries would continue to receive the cash aid as long as the payout outlets are open even during Christmas break.

In an official statement sent to Bicol Mail, DOLE-Bicol director Joel Gonzales expressed his gratitude to all the people who made the government cash aid programs successful.

“As we are thankful to our constituents for giving us the chance to work and serve them well, it is by faith with God that we render our services for Him, to our Lord, by serving our godly people. It is a little amount paid for their labor, or assistance to cushion this time of crisis, but with God’s grace, as we believe, it may be an answered prayer to many,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales was elated with the efforts of all the DOLE personnel and the cooperation of all others, including the recipients themselves that the cash disbursements were done and still being carried out smoothly.

“Humbly, we disbursed our cash funds almost to each peak of 100%. This means that wages are now being given to many in time of holiday season. Big thanks to our government partners and private co-partners. We were all instruments to this work-sharing with gift-giving to fellowmen,” Gonzales said.

He added: “With our diligent working men and women, am so thankful to them. Indeed, they are the abled persons in the prime and at the core of our services. Thanks Secretary Bebot Bello for the leadership and so with our strong willful President Digong Duterte.”

Bicol posted the highest number of over 300,000 displaced workers due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the three strong typhoons that hit the region in October and November as compared to other typhoon-affected areas of the country.

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