Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the Philippine government is providing financial aids for those Filipinos greatly affected by the closure of different establishments and institutions. However, it seems like not everyone is lucky enough to receive financial aid especially those families of OFWs and workers with ‘no work no pay’ status.
Labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) suggested that these workers must be given the much anticipated $200 (PhP10,000) financial aid from the government.
Recently, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) released a financial aid to workers affected by COVID-19. The program is called “DOLE-AKAP”.
“This is selective compassion. Regardless if you’re terminated or furloughed or placed in floating status because of the pandemic, everyone still experiences the same crisis,” says Elmer Labog, KMU chairperson.
Labog also noted that a total of $33 billion was sent by OFWs as remittance for their families in the Philippines.
“Our OFWs have sacrificed for years, working away from home. Now that the OFWs are in need of our help, the government can only give them $30 million in financial aid that does not even cover everyone affected by the crisis,” Labog said.
They also claimed that only 6.5 percent out of the 2.3 million OFWs can receive the DOLE-AKAP program by the government.
“What the government needs to do is to direct government funds in expanding the coverage of the program and Philippine embassies should act quickly in consolidating all OFWs, whether documented or not, to be covered in this aid,” the Labor group added.
“Otherwise, DOLE should mandate all employers both local and foreign to pay workers the equivalent amount of their wages.”
KMU also implied the significance of the “paid quarantine leave” that companies need to provide for their workers.