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Gov’t provides P25-B in cash aid to local workers, OFWs: DOLE

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III (Fiie photo)

MANILA – The government has so far provided some PHP25 billion in financial assistance to Filipino workers here and abroad, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported on Thursday.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said these include local formal and informal workers, as well as overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

He said there are some 2.6 million informal sector workers that have been assisted amounting to PHP7 billion in financial aid.

“We also extended assistance to formal sector workers of some PHP6 billion. These workers either lost their jobs or those employed but their working hours have been reduced. We also provided assistance to 725,000 OFWs, who were repatriated back in the country, involving about PHP12 billion,” he said in a Laging Handa briefing.

He said there are still PHP2 billion that is set to be distributed to informal workers until the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Bello also reported that he will be pushing for the improvement in the employment contracts of all migrant workers during the meeting of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Government Sector in Switzerland this month.

“We will also put in the agenda the item on improving the employment contracts of all migrant workers in order to provide them sufficient security and proper treatment,” Bello said.

“We will ensure that the provisions in their contracts will protect their interests, see to it that they have a rightful claim to their salaries, to their benefits as overseas workers including the security of tenure and proper treatment,” he added.

The meeting will be on October 27, to be presided by Bello as representative of the Philippines, which is currently the chairman of the group. (PNA)

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