Bishop calls for immediate release of cash aid for workers

Bishop calls for immediate release of cash aid for workers

By CBCP News

April 15, 2020

Manila, Philippines

A church official has echoed the calls for the immediate release of the government’s cash aid to workers, as Covid-19 quarantine measures continue to affect their livelihood and food security.

Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos pressed for a sense of urgency in assisting the country’s ordinary workers.

“We strongly demand that the Department of Labor and Employment immediately release the financial assistance to all affected workers whether from small, medium, and large enterprises,” Alminaza said.

The bishop, who also co-chairs the Church People – Workers Solidarity (CWS), said that many workers have not yet received the cash assistance since the Luzon-wide lockdown was imposed.

“Thus, workers and their families are left without income to buy food and other basic necessities,” said Alminaza.

He also urged the government to ask companies employing affected workers to apply for the cash assistance to mitigate the impact of the quarantine measures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to him, the DOLE assistance requires employers as the ones who should apply for the financial assistance for their workers.

“We reiterate our call to the government to oblige all companies to apply on behalf of their workers and/or allow workers to apply directly for the said assistance,” said the bishop.

About 220,000 workers affected by the lockdown have benefited from its Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program, the DOLE said.

Around 1.4 million workers have reportedly been displaced since the lockdown forced businesses to temporarily close or implement flexible work arrangements.