DOLE sets rules on financial aid for displaced Boracay workers

MANILA Financial assistance ranging from PHP2,100 to PHP4,200 will be given to workers, particularly in the formal sector, who were affected by the six-month closure of Boracay island, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said Wednesday.

These are provided in Department Order (DO) No. 191, or the guidelines on the implementation of the Adjustment Measures Program (AMP) under the Boracay Emergency Employment Program (BEEP) for distressed workers there.

In a statement, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the order aims to ensure that the program would help ease the situation of employees in the sector.

Affected workers, he said, will be provided with financial support equivalent to 50 percent of the prevailing minimum wage in Western Visayas, or PHP4,205.50, and shall be provided monthly for a maximum period of six months.

On the other hand, for retained workers who do not receive regular wage, the amount of financial support is equivalent to 25 percent of the prevailing minimum wage in the region, or PHP2,102.75, and shall be non-conditional to be provided in lump sum covering three months.

The DOLE said those eligible for the program are workers employed in Boracay Island and other parts of Malay, Aklan by an employer or any person acting directly or indirectly in the interest of an employer.

They must also be workers whose employment was interrupted during the period of temporary closure and 30 days prior or those who did not receive regular wage by reason of the temporary suspension, permanent cessation of operations, or permanent closure of the employer's business establishment.

Applicants may submit the duly accomplished BEEP AMP application form; photocopy of certificate of employment; photocopy of any government-issued ID; and proof of Land Bank of the Philippines account to the BEEP Operations Center-DOLE Satellite Desk, DOLE 6 (Western Visayas), or any of its field offices.

For affected workers who have gone back to their respective hometowns, they may submit their applications to the nearest DOLE regional/field/satellite offices.

Meanwhile, under the employment facilitation component, the concerned DOLE regional office shall refer beneficiaries to the nearest Public Employment Service Office (PESO) for employment facilitation.

Affected workers will be provided access to available job opportunities suitable to their qualifications through job matching, referral, and placement services, either local or overseas employment, employment coaching, and labor market information.

The training component, on the other hand, aims to give affected workers with appropriate training to enhance their skills, competitiveness, and employability, as administered by relevant government agencies.

Upon approval of the application by the regional director and upon receipt of the Notice of Approval by the beneficiary, the concerned DOLE regional office shall deposit the first tranche of financial support directly to the beneficiary's Land Bank account at the end of the reference month.

Every 15th of each month, or the next working day if the day falls on a holiday or a non-working day, beneficiaries shall submit to the BEEP Operations Center-DOLE Satellite Desk, DOLE regional office, or any of its field/satellite offices their Beneficiary Progress Report.

To continue receiving the financial support, the beneficiary must have proof of two active searches for employment in a month; and one proof of attendance to any training course conducted by a government agency for the first and fourth months of availment.

Beneficiaries who receive the full six or three months of financial support, or obtain full-time wage employment prior to the end of program coverage are considered to have completed the program. (PR)

Source: Philippine News Agency