MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Friday, April 17, authorized another P2.5 billion for the cash aid to private sector workers.
In a text message to Rappler, Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado said he signed on Friday the Statement of Allotment Release Order (SARO) and the Notice of Cash Allocation (NCA) for the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) coronavirus adjustment program.
SARO and NCA are authorizations that trigger the release of funds to agencies.
Avisado’s statement came as DOLE stopped accepting applications for the cash aid due to depleted funds.
On Thursday, April 16, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that some P1.2 billion of the original P1.6-billion fund have been disbursed to over 200,000 workers. Some P400,000 are yet to be released to 86,563 workers.
Under the program, private firms can apply for a one-time P5,000 cash aid for their workers to augment the salaries of employees affected by the Luzon-wide lockdown that began on March 17 and will last until April 30.
On Friday, Avisado also signed an NCA worth P96.04 billion for the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s emergency cash aid for 18 million low-income Filipinos.
DBM also released P8.5 billion for the Department of Agriculture’s rice resiliency project which will be used for its coronavirus efforts.
Millions have been told to stay at home as Luzon and other local government units in Visayas and Mindanao imposed lockdowns due to the coronavirus oubreak.
As of Friday, there are 5,878 coronavirus cases in the Philippines, with 387 deaths and 487 recoveries. The number of infections worldwide surpassed 2.1 million, while over 145,000 people have died across 193 countries and territories. – with a report from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com
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