Boracay residents can now apply for DSWD’s cash-for-work program

Aika Rey
Boracay residents can now apply for DSWD’s cash-for-work program
Displaced workers due to the closure of Boracay may now apply for labor or office work under the Department of Social Welfare and Development's cash-for-work program

MANILA, Philippines – Residents from tourist hotspot Boracay Island in Malay, Aklan can now apply for the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) cash-for-work program.

In a statement, DSWD OIC Secretary Emmanuel Leyco said the social welfare department adjusted its guidelines for the program, specifically amending the rate of financial assistance.

“The lack of economic activities and employment opportunities aggravates their condition and increases their vulnerability to the social ills created by poverty, and we cannot allow this to happen,” Leyco said.

“The increased rate of assistance is meant to help alleviate the economic difficulties of Filipinos affected by the Boracay closure,” he added.

The previous rate of assistance for the program stood at 75% of the regional wage rate. DSWD amended the guidelines for beneficiaries to receive 100% of the regional minimum wage, which currently stands at P323.50 a day. (READ: Displaced Boracay workers settle for P323/day for 30 days: ‘Puwede na’)

Boracay Island was officially closed from tourists starting April 26. Depending heavily on the tourism economy, many businesses had to close down during the closure period, displacing thousands of workers.

Eligible individuals can apply for either labor or office work for 30 days. Tasks will include the following:

  • Labor work: clearing operations, facility repair, planting trees, cleaning, and other similar work. DSWD will provide protective gear and tools for those participating under hazardous activities.
  • Technical or office work: assisting in profiling tasks, preparing reports, disbursing payment operations, camp management, and operations center work among others.

Under the guidelines, those eligible to apply for the DSWD’s employment program are displaced workers; those who had to return to their home provinces; those who were transferred employment; and those who migrated to other provinces.

Interested applicants may visit the DSWD Operations Center in Faith Village in Boracay.

Meanwhile, Leyco said those who were transferred or had to go back to their home provinces can visit the DSWD field office in their region to seek assistance.

As of Monday, May 7, the social welfare department has provided assistance to 5,244 displaced workers, disbursing a total of P12.64 million since April 23.

President Rodrigo Duterte ordered Boracay closed due to its environmental problems, approving the recommendation of the environment, interior, and tourism departments. (READ: INSIDE STORY: How Duterte decided on Boracay closure)

According to government estimates, some 36,000 workers were affected by the shutdown of the island. Revenue losses during a 6-month shutdown is estimated to run up to P1.96 billion, with the Western Visayas economy bearing the brunt of the economic losses.–

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at