[Statement] Labor Rights NGO Forwards More Complaints and Concerns about the DOLE CAMP Assistance -CTUHR

Labor Rights NGO Forwards More Complaints and Concerns about the DOLE CAMP Assistance

As the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) marked its 1st month, 66 more companies were reported to have not still provided their employees with the P5,000 promised assistance from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). This was the results of the Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) COVID-19 Workers’ Rights Watch” online survey on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and ECQ to workers that started last April 1. The partial results were forwarded to DOLE for their immediate action.

“It has been a month since the lockdown was imposed and many workers are still complaining about not receiving the promised assistance from the government to No work-No Pay workers. The P5,000 financial assistance is insufficient to sustain an average workers’ family but it makes a big difference in their struggle if they will receive it immediately. Workers also await for additional assistance as the quarantine has been extended for another 2 weeks,” said Daisy Arago, CTUHR Executive Director.

The survey also covers other workers’ rights violations such as illegal termination, unsafe working conditions, forcing them to work (despite lack of transportation services provided), non-provision of PPE and others.

CTUHR also appealed to DOLE to issue clear guidelines that will strongly compel the responsibility of big corporations (those with more than 1,000 employees) to continuously pay the salaries of their workers in the duration of the lockdown. DOLE’s Department Order 209 or the Guidelines on the Adjustment Measures Program for Affected Workers due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 prioritizes Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and only mentions that it encourages large companies to pay the full wages of their workers for the duration of the ECQ. It does not require them to do so. Workers and unions of big companies have been campaigning for paid quarantine amid the threats of COVID-19 and the lack of transport services, hazard pay and proper Personal Protective Equipment for those required to continue rendering their services.

DOLE issued an appeal anew to large companies to continue paying the salaries of their workers and employees despite them being unable to work due to the extension of ECQ. CTUHR welcomes this appeal and appreciates the companies who responded positively and echoes the call to Multi-National Companies (MNCs) to follow suit.

“These companies have been earning millions of profits for many years, from the blood and sweat of their workers. It wouldn’t cost them much if they will help their workers cope with this crisis. The Labor Department should oblige them to do so,” Arago noted.

DOLE also reported that the number of displaced workers in the formal sector according to their regional offices is now at 1,048,649.

“The current budget of the Labor Department to aid displaced workers is insufficient to assist more than a million displaced workers. Small local businesses must also be supported to withstand this crisis. More budget should be allotted to provide aid for those whose jobs and livelihood are affected by this crisis,” Arago ended.

15 April 2020

Daisy Arago
CTUHR Executive Director
Tel # 0916 248 4876 / 8718 00 26

Public Information and Education Department
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